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Quickies

  • 625110

News & Reviews

  • The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt gave Amoeba Music a look at what he's been listening to as part of its series What's in My Bag? (Home Edition), including Eartha Kitt, Elke Sommer, Bessie Smith, and more. Merritt filmed the episode on a mini-golf course in upstate New York, so he also gives us all a look at his putt-putt skills. You can have a look here.

  • The Magnetic Fields got together separately to perform songs from their new album, Quickies, for Rough Trade's Transmissions series on IGTV. As on the album, Stephin Merritt and other Magnetic Fields band members Sam Davol, Claudia Gonson, Shirley Simms, and John Woo are joined for the session by longtime friends and collaborators Chris Ewen, Daniel Handler, and Pinky Weitzman. You can watch it here.

  • About This Album

    The Magnetic Fields’ Quickies was released on Nonesuch Records on May 29, 2020. The five 7" vinyl box set features twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt, ranging in length from thirteen seconds to two minutes and thirty-five seconds. The digital albm was released on May 15; a single CD on June 19.

    Merritt explains his thinking behind the Quickies concept: “I’ve been reading a lot of very short fiction, and I enjoyed writing 101 Two-Letter Words, the poetry book about the shortest words you can use in Scrabble. And I’ve been listening to a lot of French baroque harpsichord music. Harpsichord doesn’t lend itself to languor. So I’ve been thinking about one instrument at a time, playing for about a minute or so and then stopping, and I’ve been thinking of narratives that are only a few lines long.

    “Also, I had been using a lot of small notebooks, so when I reach the bottom of the page, I’ve only gone a short way. Now that I’m working on a different album, I’m enforcing a large notebook rule so that I don’t do Quickies twice in a row.”

    Quickies features Merritt and other Magnetic Fields band members Sam Davol, Claudia Gonson, Shirley Simms, and John Woo. They are joined by longtime friends and collaborators Chris Ewen, Daniel Handler, and Pinky Weitzman.

    To date, Stephin Merritt has written and recorded twelve Magnetic Fields albums, including the beloved 69 Love Songs and the 2017 critically acclaimed Nonesuch box set, 50 Song Memoir, which chronicled the first fifty years of the songwriter’s life with one song per year. New York magazine called the box set “a celebration of Merritt’s sky-high range as a writer and a player, through the exploration of the circumstances that helped cultivate it … a delightful flip through the untold back pages of one of rock’s most singular voices, and, all in all, the best damned Magnetic Fields album in the last ten years.” Merritt has also composed original music and lyrics for several music theater pieces, including an off-Broadway stage musical of Neil Gaiman’s novel Coraline, for which he received an Obie Award. In 2014, Merritt composed songs and background music for the first musical episode of public radio’s This American Life. Stephin Merritt also releases albums under the band names the 6ths, the Gothic Archies, and Future Bible Heroes.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Stephin Merritt, vocals (1, 4, 6–9, 12, 15, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28), banjolele (4, 6, 19, 20), cigar box ukulele (11, 13, 18, 21), Moog instruments (12), ARP Axxe (15), hand-played drum machine (15, 20), electric guitar (15), Avante Veillette guitar (22), Mellotron (24), Omnichord (26), Wurlizter electric piano (28), background vocals (25)
    Claudia Gonson, vocals (3, 14, 17, 23), one-hand piano (3, 17, 22), cigar box percussion (11, 13, 18, 21), background vocals (2, 4–11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 25–28)
    Shirley Simms, vocals (2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 25, 27), three-chord autoharp (1, 7, 9, 16, 27), whispers (9), Omnichord (15, 20, 26, 28), background vocals (1, 4, 7, 20, 26)
    John Woo, unamplified electric guitars (2, 8, 10, 14), cigar box guitar (11, 13, 18, 21)
    Pinky Weitzman, cigar box and Stroh violins (11, 13, 18, 21)
    Sam Davol, wine box cello (11, 13, 18, 21), cello (15, 24, 28)
    Chris Ewen, prepared piano (20, 24), Mellotron (24)
    Benny Grotto, Optigan percussion (24)
    Daniel Handler, accordion (25), celeste (25)

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Recorded at:
    Cottage Sounds, Brooklyn, NY, by Charles Newman
    Decibelle, San Francisco, CA, by Cody Hamilton
    Mad Oak, Boston, MA, by Benny Grotto
    Mixed with Charles Newman at Cottage Sounds
    Mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless, Newton, MA

    Design: Evan Gaffney
    Photography: Stephin Merritt, Shirley Simms

nonesuch's picture
on February 12, 2020 - 4:40pm
Release Date: 
Friday, May 29, 2020 (All day)
DescriptionExcerpt: 

The Magnetic Fields’ Quickies five 7" vinyl box set is twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt, ranging in length from thirteen seconds to two minutes and thirty-five seconds, performed by Merritt and band members Sam Davol, Claudia Gonson, Shirley Simms, and John Woo, along with longtime friends and collaborators Chris Ewen, Daniel Handler, and Pinky Weitzman. "Miniature gems," says the Guardian. "Extraordinary."

Description: 

The Magnetic Fields’ Quickies was released on Nonesuch Records on May 29, 2020. The five 7" vinyl box set features twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt, ranging in length from thirteen seconds to two minutes and thirty-five seconds. The digital albm was released on May 15; a single CD on June 19.

Merritt explains his thinking behind the Quickies concept: “I’ve been reading a lot of very short fiction, and I enjoyed writing 101 Two-Letter Words, the poetry book about the shortest words you can use in Scrabble. And I’ve been listening to a lot of French baroque harpsichord music. Harpsichord doesn’t lend itself to languor. So I’ve been thinking about one instrument at a time, playing for about a minute or so and then stopping, and I’ve been thinking of narratives that are only a few lines long.

“Also, I had been using a lot of small notebooks, so when I reach the bottom of the page, I’ve only gone a short way. Now that I’m working on a different album, I’m enforcing a large notebook rule so that I don’t do Quickies twice in a row.”

Quickies features Merritt and other Magnetic Fields band members Sam Davol, Claudia Gonson, Shirley Simms, and John Woo. They are joined by longtime friends and collaborators Chris Ewen, Daniel Handler, and Pinky Weitzman.

To date, Stephin Merritt has written and recorded twelve Magnetic Fields albums, including the beloved 69 Love Songs and the 2017 critically acclaimed Nonesuch box set, 50 Song Memoir, which chronicled the first fifty years of the songwriter’s life with one song per year. New York magazine called the box set “a celebration of Merritt’s sky-high range as a writer and a player, through the exploration of the circumstances that helped cultivate it … a delightful flip through the untold back pages of one of rock’s most singular voices, and, all in all, the best damned Magnetic Fields album in the last ten years.” Merritt has also composed original music and lyrics for several music theater pieces, including an off-Broadway stage musical of Neil Gaiman’s novel Coraline, for which he received an Obie Award. In 2014, Merritt composed songs and background music for the first musical episode of public radio’s This American Life. Stephin Merritt also releases albums under the band names the 6ths, the Gothic Archies, and Future Bible Heroes.

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Recorded at:
Cottage Sounds, Brooklyn, NY, by Charles Newman
Decibelle, San Francisco, CA, by Cody Hamilton
Mad Oak, Boston, MA, by Benny Grotto
Mixed with Charles Newman at Cottage Sounds
Mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless, Newton, MA

Design: Evan Gaffney
Photography: Stephin Merritt, Shirley Simms

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

625110

ns_album_releasedate: 
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 16:30
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
5-EP 7" Vinyl Box Set
UPC: 
075597922035
Price: 
38.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597920550
Price: 
16.00
Label: 
FLAC
UPC: 
075597922066
Price: 
15.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597922059
Price: 
14.00
Artist Name: 
The Magnetic Fields
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
Stephin Merritt, vocals (1, 4, 6–9, 12, 15, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28), banjolele (4, 6, 19, 20), cigar box ukulele (11, 13, 18, 21), Moog instruments (12), ARP Axxe (15), hand-played drum machine (15, 20), electric guitar (15), Avante Veillette guitar (22), Mellotron (24), Omnichord (26), Wurlizter electric piano (28), background vocals (25)
Claudia Gonson, vocals (3, 14, 17, 23), one-hand piano (3, 17, 22), cigar box percussion (11, 13, 18, 21), background vocals (2, 4–11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 25–28)
Shirley Simms, vocals (2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 25, 27), three-chord autoharp (1, 7, 9, 16, 27), whispers (9), Omnichord (15, 20, 26, 28), background vocals (1, 4, 7, 20, 26)
John Woo, unamplified electric guitars (2, 8, 10, 14), cigar box guitar (11, 13, 18, 21)
Pinky Weitzman, cigar box and Stroh violins (11, 13, 18, 21)
Sam Davol, wine box cello (11, 13, 18, 21), cello (15, 24, 28)
Chris Ewen, prepared piano (20, 24), Mellotron (24)
Benny Grotto, Optigan percussion (24)
Daniel Handler, accordion (25), celeste (25)

reissues?: 
new-release
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