Leave Your Sleep
Apparently inspired by the likes of Pete Seeger, Elizabeth Cotten and Shirley Collins, Natalie Merchant blurs the lines between children's music and traditional folk. A song cycle about childhood, the 26-track Leave Your Sleep is a collection of elegantly rustic tunes adapted from archaic poetry. It's an ambitious project for sure, yet Merchant never loses sight of what makes folk music great: simplicity and directness. The chamber-like string arrangements in particular are a joy to hear.