Local musician Munqs keeps expectations modest for his solo debut, trial&era—now available for free download on his website, and recommended to me by a mutual friend. “Trial&era is less an album and more a song journal; it covers a period of roughly five years and a variety of musical personalities.”
Though Munqs (a.k.a. Corey W. Lawson) is a 27-year-old with a solid musical record as a member of Xavier Marquis’s backing band, there’s a distinctly early-years quality to this lumpy but often winning collection. The musical personalities include a rapper, a crooner, a creator of ambient soundscapes, and even a popster in the Owl City vein.
In general, Munqs is stronger as a producer and instrumentalist than as a singer—the rapping is downright awkward, and some of the singing feels tepid—but the album’s highlight is the quiet ballad “Optimist…,” which features the line “Now I am questioning everything.” Here’s hoping that Munqs keeps questioning, and sharing his varied answers.