BiographyBeginning her career in 1981 as cofounder and front woman of '80s/'90s Folk-Pop luminaries 10,000 Maniacs, Merchant's enchanting alto has found recent prosperity in the medium of solo performance. Usually supported by a sparse, tasteful smattering of guitars, strings, piano, and light rhythms, Merchant's voice and songs have always been employed as vehicles for her social commentary, rather than high school dramatics or slacker-inspired, neo-existential angst. Her first two solo albums, Tigerlily in 1995, and Ophelia in 1998, have been major commercial successes.
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