Quickies, released in May, 2020 not only describes the format of this collection, presented in as five vinyl singles, but in many ways its contents too: short bursts of melody and lyrics sketching in dreams and desires, erotic reveries, and wishful thinking. Merritt’s approach is epitomized by “Bathroom Quickie,” forty-seven seconds of carnal craving sweetly voiced by longtime Magnetic Fields singer Shirley Simms. Merritt says; “Just as ‘The Book of Love’ has become the manifesto of 69 Love Songs, ‘Bathroom Quickie’ is the fulcrum of Quickies.” In it, consummation is just one restroom stall away, if only a discreet and available one could be found. Similarly, much of Quickies addresses longing, both real and fanciful: to find a safe and welcoming place to hang out (“Favorite Bar”); to sport vestigial appurtenances (“I Want Fangs and a Tail”); to wear black leather and ride a motorcycle (“I Want To Join a Biker Gang”); to indulge in nostalgie de la boue (“I Want To Be A Prostitute Again”). On the merry “The Day the Politicians Died,” Merritt seems to be channeling nothing less than the unspoken but fervent hopes of America’s teeming masses.
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