Tift Merritt seems torn between wanderlust and homesickness on Traveling Alone, which – partly thanks to the assistance of guitarists Marc Ribot and Eric Heywood, and Calexico drummer John Convertino – sounds like her best album yet.
Tracks like "Still Not Home" and "Traveling Alone" find her itchily hankering to move on, keen to confront her destiny. But there's an obvious yearning for the security of stability in "Sweet Spot" and "Feeling of Beauty". There's a tough edge to her country-rock style, with hard, sleek guitars animating the horticultural erotica of "Spring" ; but her vocals are most impressively showcased "Drifted Apart", a fatalistic break-up duet with Andrew Bird about "growing into what you are", even if that takes you away from someone.
Download: Traveling Alone; Drifted Apart; Spring