Listen to Tift Merritt Covering Johnny Thunders
Tift Merritt may have released a new studio album (the excellent Stitch of the World) earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean the songwriter is finished releasing new music. ND has an exclusive stream of a new tune from Merritt, a cover of the 1978 Johnny Thunders song “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory.”
Merritt covered the track as part a new batch of tunes added to Amazon Music’s “Amazon Acoustics” playlist, which already featured songs by Jason Isbell and Ashley Monroe in its original incarnation and has since added tracks from 20 new artists, including folks like Andrew Combs, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and, of course, Merritt herself.
To get the perfect feel for the song, Merritt recruited pals from Hiss Golden Messenger to form her backing band. The resulting track is a warm, acoustic take on the late New York Dolls frontman’s jangly ode to loneliness.
“I’ve always loved this song,” Merritt says. “What a beautiful chorus. I wanted to try it like a modern Buddy Holly might, but with lots of Skeeter Davis harmony. Turns out MC Taylor and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig bring their own kind of worn in magic to the Skeeter Davis role. Thanks Johnny Thunders, we had a ball.”
The “Amazon Acoustics” playlist will be updated on September 8. Listen to “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” before its official release below.