Tift Merritt, Dawn Landes & the Hounds | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Tift Merritt, Dawn Landes & the Hounds Early Warnings (Music) The List (Music) Soundboard

When: Fri., July 30, 9 p.m. 2010
Price: $18
Seattle producer Tucker Martine brings a scaled-down grandeur to Tift Merritt's See You on the Moon (Fantasy), opting for intimacy over spectacle in showcasing her delicate post-Emmylou vocals. The country-soul groove of the opener, "Mixtape," gets its juice from hand claps and a meticulously pitched string arrangement all played by Eyvind Kang, but the focus is on the singer's beautiful delivery, which is streaked with a fitting vulnerability on songs that grapple with the difficulties of communication. Though I still like Merritt best on more upbeat, extroverted material—the sleek, driving "Papercut" is my fave here—she's found a way to handle ballads without resorting to twee coffeehouse sentimentality. She almost makes Anne Murray's stink bomb "Danny's Song" palatable, and that's really saying something. —Peter Margasak

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