The Magnetic Fields

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Magnetic Fields
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Biography (Excerpt)

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. Also available on a single CD.

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10
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Facebook URL
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticFields/
Twitter URL
https://twitter.com/themagfields
Instagram URL
https://www.instagram.com/themagfields/
Youtube URL
https://smarturl.it/MagneticFields.YT

The Magnetic Fields’ Quickies will be released on Nonesuch Records on May 15, 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. Preorders of the vinyl box set, also on a single CD, are available now in the Nonesuch Store with an instant download of "The Day the Politicians Died," the video for which can be seen below. The song is also available to stream at Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services. Nonesuch Store pre-orders also include an exclusive, limited-edition print autographed by Merritt.

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.

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Latest Release

  • May 19, 2023

    Available on vinyl for the first time for Record Store Day 2023, The Magnetic Fields’ 2004 Nonesuch debut album, i, was the long-awaited follow-up to the beloved 69 Love Songs. This limited-edition LP is on 140-gram, gold-colored vinyl. Singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt was in full possession of his acerbic wit on i, and the album features lyrics ripe with melancholy and bittersweet imagery. At the time of release, the Guardian wrote: "Merritt is an incomparable lyricist capable of balancing arch wit with painfully acute observation. The most exciting dissector of modern love around."

Releases

News

  • December 4, 2023

    The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt is on BBC World Service’s Music Life with Beirut's Zach Condon and Blondie's Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. They discuss artistic self-expression, the influence of location on songwriting, and what unexpected musical genres have inspired them. You can hear it here. The Magnetic Fields, who just completed a European tour, will tour the US with songs from 69 Love Songs next year for the album's 25th anniversary. Their 2004 Nonesuch debut album, i, was released on vinyl for the first time this past spring.

  • July 20, 2023

    The Magnetic Fields have announced a fifteen-concert European tour this November. The shows, featuring songs from throughout the band's career, start at Sala Apolo in Barcelona on November 4, followed by dates throughout Spain, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Türkiye, Greece, and Austria. They will tour the US with songs from 69 Love Songs next year in celebration of the album's 25th anniversary. The Magnetic Fields' 2004 Nonesuch debut album, i, was released on vinyl for the first time in a limited-edition, gold-colored LP this past spring.

Tour

Wed, Apr 17
Chicago, IL
Thalia Hall
Wed, Apr 17
Chicago, IL
Thalia Hall
Thu, Apr 18
Chicago, IL
Thalia Hall
Thu, Apr 18
Chicago, IL
Thalia Hall
Fri, Apr 19
Chicago, IL
Thalia Hall
Fri, Apr 19
Chicago, IL
Thalia Hall
Sat, Apr 20
Chicago, IL
Thalia Hall
Sat, Apr 20
Chicago, IL
Thalia Hall
Tue, Apr 23
Los Angeles, CA
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Tue, Apr 23
Los Angeles, CA
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Wed, Apr 24
Los Angeles, CA
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Wed, Apr 24
Los Angeles, CA
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Fri, Apr 26
San Francisco, CA
The Curran Theatre
Fri, Apr 26
San Francisco, CA
The Curran Theatre
Sat, Apr 27
San Francisco, CA
The Curran Theatre
Sat, Apr 27
San Francisco, CA
The Curran Theatre
Sun, Apr 28
San Francisco, CA
The Curran Theatre
Sun, Apr 28
San Francisco, CA
The Curran Theatre
Mon, Apr 29
San Francisco, CA
The Curran Theatre
Mon, Apr 29
San Francisco, CA
The Curran Theatre

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About The Magnetic Fields

  • The Magnetic Fields’ Quickies will be released on Nonesuch Records on May 15, 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. Preorders of the vinyl box set, also on a single CD, are available now in the Nonesuch Store with an instant download of "The Day the Politicians Died," the video for which can be seen below. The song is also available to stream at Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services. Nonesuch Store pre-orders also include an exclusive, limited-edition print autographed by Merritt.

    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.

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