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Ira Merrill | The Handshake and the Heartbreak

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Recommended if You Like
Elliott Smith Jeff Lynne The Beatles

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Ira Merrill

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United States - Washington

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Folk: Folk Pop Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Lo-Fi
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The Handshake and the Heartbreak

by Ira Merrill

A seasoned, mature folk-rock album with jangle choruses reminiscent of America, the structure of the Beatles, the mournfully upbeat juxtapositions of Elliot Smith and a slight nuance of Jeff Lynne’s penchant for harmonies.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Lightning Baby
3:43 album only
clip
2. When I Was Innocent
3:15 album only
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3. Sugar
4:08 album only
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4. Just Like We All Rehearsed
3:28 album only
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5. Honey Tongue
3:03 album only
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6. Our Someday
3:45 album only
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7. Anna
3:58 album only
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8. The Skull
3:48 album only
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9. 12:04
2:08 album only
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10. End of the World
5:48 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Ira Merrill has at least eight musical endeavors under his belt o'rock, with number nine up for your listening pleasure. The new solo album "The Handshake and the Heartbreak" comes with ample singer-songwriter merits in the form of a professional, seasoned pop album. It is a chocolate truffle with a filling reminiscent of America, Elliot Smith and – believe it or not- a slight nuance of Jeff Lynne. He personally feels indebted to Juliana Hatfield, Elvis Costello and Dave Pirner, Guided By Voices, and Neutral Milk Hotel.

His most prominent prior work was the five plus years he spent fronting the Seattle-based rock band Common Heroes, but Merrill finds that being alone allows him to "write without a band or particular sound in mind." Shedding the skins down to the bare bones of song-writing also gives Merrill more focus. "The music still has similar qualities to earlier songs I've written, but it's more confident. Lyrically I'm a bit more caustic and even esoteric than I once was. It reflects my surroundings, state of mind and things I'm going through."

So, where did Merrill come by 'The Handshake and the Heartbreak?' "The phrase is a line from the song 'When I Was Innocent' (track two on the album). It describes the feeling and theme of the album – and my life- the ups and downs, the starts and stops of relationships, the building then the breaking down of dreams." And what about the songs specifically? "These songs are personal as well as manufactured diary entries - documents of certain spots I've been in this weird life, and a bit of fiction thrown in for good measure. They spill a frustrated sort of melancholy...but, there is always another handshake around the corner. Right?" In the end it's clear that Ira Merrill – and the songs- certainly hope so.

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Reviews


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Kimberly Bullock

An impresssive album
Ira's solo album is very impressive. It is crisp and flows nicely from the first track to the last. He has the way of making not so happy lyrics seem abnormally uplifting and cheery much like the late great Elliott Smith. My personal favorites on the album are: Anna, Honey Tongue, and 12:04. When I Was Innocent track #2 is very catchy and he closes out the album strongly with guest vocalist Chad Hanson on End Of The World. My only complaint is that 10 tracks is almost a tease, I wasn't quite ready for it to end.
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Kimberly Bullock

An impresssive album
Ira's solo album is very impressive. It is crisp and flows nicely from the first track to the last. He has the way of making not so happy lyrics seem abnormally uplifting and cheery much like the late great Elliott Smith. My personal favorites on the album are: Anna, Honey Tongue, and 12:04. When I Was Innocent track #2 is very catchy and he closes out the album strongly with guest vocalist Chad Hanson on End Of The World. My only complaint is that 10 tracks is almost a tease, I wasn't quite ready for it to end.
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josh

this is a great choice for some soft rock/pop with edge!
Ira Merrill has put out a really strong album here. Honest songs, quality songwriting, edgy vocals, and talented musicianship come together in this CD. This is a really great pick.
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Real neat!!!
This was a real treat. I liked his previous band, Common Heroes, quite a bit but this is a much more mature, focused effort. Simple, yet fun melodies and just a real good listen.
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