Six quick hits clocking in at under a half-hour total make up the pleasant and catchy jaunt that is Ian Morris’ Parking Lot Manuscripts. This is pop electronica, accessible and (for the most part) upbeat. “A Functioning Hemingway” packs a nostalgic punch, the whistling synth lead feeling quite like an old New Romantic song. (Anyone else remember Classix Nouveaux?) A whump-thump beat on bass drum gets the toes tapping. Probably the best piece here for me, and although I like the way it dovetails perfectly into “Policy on Submissions,” the two feel almost too close in style–I had to check to see if I’d moved on to the next track. The issue may be that Morris is apparently fond of a trilling run on piano, which he either speeds up or slows down; which is fine until it appears in three songs in a row (I catch a glimpse of it in “I Like the Way We Whisper Even When No One is Around”) and suggests less of a unifying thematic device than “Oh, you’re doing that again.” By way of departure, the closing track, “Van Gogh’s Dangerous Gamble,” brings us a quiet and thoughtful melody on acoustic guitars. Morris works a nice depth of sound through the guitars’ resonance, and it amplifies the track’s raw honesty. Morris notes on his Bandcamp page that the release is intended as a “multimedia experience,” with each song paired with a poem and a photograph. I’m not comfortable commenting on those aspects, but it makes for an interesting addition to the music. There’s quite a but to enjoy here, least of which is the potential for more good music from Ian Morris.
Available from Bandcamp.