Pop music is malleable; it is fluid and carries with it a sense of emotional elasticity. Through our collected experiences, we connect with music on a primal level, with perceptions and associations both tangible and dream-like. While most musicians opt for a superficial understanding of these musical correlations, there are those who realize these innate forces and their ability to transform and sustain in equal measure.

But for singer-songwriter Merry Ellen Kirk, music is even more wide-ranging than this rather inclusive set of descriptions would have you believe. Having spent her early years in Mongolia—her parents were missionaries—she developed a diverse awareness of the world, and of what music can be when experienced through a different cultural lens. As a child, she began making up little ditties and developed an inescapable desire to create music; after a time, when her family returned home and settled down in Nashville, she came to realize that writing and performing music would have to be a large part of her future.