Merchant co-founded and sang in the band 10,000 Maniacs in 1981 (see 1981 in music) but left the band in 1993 (see 1993 in music) for a solo career. Her solo album Tigerlily (1995, 1995 in music) had three top 40-singles, Carnival, Jealousy, and Wonder. In 1998, Natalie released Ophelia and the following year release Live in Concert. In 2001 Natalie released her most critically acclaimed album Motherland and went on an extensive tour of North America and Europe. In 2003, Natalie parted ways with Elektra Records and is releasing a folk album called The House Carpenter's Daughter on September 16, 2003 on Myth America records. Natalie also plays the piano, produces and writes all of her songs.