This was one of those cases where I really did judge an album by its cover. I had noticed a crude hand drawn picture of the back of a woman’s head for an album cover had been reviewed on Pitchfork one day and on a whim chose to listen to it. I was blown away with the beauty of what I heard and instantly was hooked.
Elizabeth Morris is a piano player from Australia and Optimism is a four-song release of just her playing piano and guitar, accompanying herself with her voice and touching lyrics. Her piano playing is modest yet charming and her melodies resonate with a quiet splendor. She sings in such a youthful, simple voice all I can really do when I hear her voice is stop what ever I am doing and listen, entranced by the magnificence that radiates from her golden vocal chords. Her music has the bare minimum of production but any more or even any more instrumentation or influence would ruin the whole vibe of the project. She sings of sad things so pleasantly though that I am always filled with such an array of emotion while listening to this lightening fast EP. I feel at peace while listening to the unassuming music but once I lean in a little further and actually hear the lyrics my heart grows heavy over her heartache.
There is just something magical about these four songs, and it all comes down to her humble musicianship, so unassertive yet so skilled. She is able to capture passion and cram it into short melodies on even shorter songs but make them swell with power just with her enchanted voice. Sometimes I think I fell in love with Optimism because she mentions New Mexico, and then I hear her unmistakable voice and I am reminded about how much skill she really has.