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Tift Merritt Will 'See You On The Moon'

Tift Merritt was expected to be the next great country music super star. Instead, she subtly produced five introspective and soul-filled albums that stayed true to her mission as an artist.

Eight years into her career, she's now released her sixth album, See You On The Moon.

"My work has always been very, very personal," Merritt tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I'm a writer, first and foremost, and I sort of take my cues from the songwriters of the '70s, who are talking about what's really important to them."

Merritt hopes her work will get even more personal -- though "not in a way that's embarrassing to anyone, or feels like a journal entry," she says.

Merritt has a wide variety of musical influences. She calls herself a huge fan of old-fashioned country music, like that of Kitty Wells. But says she's not sure why she often gets pigeonholed into country music when she's always had an energetic rock band behind her and cites Delaney & Bonnie and George Harrison as major influences on her second album, Tambourine.

"I also was really intrigued by the energy of soul music," says Merritt. "As much as I love being a singer-songwriter, I love throwing down on stage and letting it all out."

So in an effort to make sure the album it wasn't full of "delicate songs that would fall apart in your hand," Merritt sought a balance between the power of soul music and the sincerity of the singer-songwriter.

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