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  • Friday, May 15, 2020
    The Magnetic Fields' 'Quickies' Now Available Digitally; Vinyl Box Set Due May 29

    The Magnetic FieldsQuickies is now available digitally on Nonesuch Records, with a five 7" vinyl box set due May 29 and a single CD on June 19. The album—twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt, ranging in length from thirteen seconds to two minutes and thirty-five seconds—is available digitally on iTunes, Nonesuch Store, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Qobuz, and other digital services. The vinyl box set and CD are available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store with an exclusive, limited-edition print autographed by Merritt.

    To mark today's album release, a video for the track "I've Got a Date with Jesus," featuring footage shot by the band, was also released and can be seen here:

    "Pop's pithiest songwriter strikes again," says Uncut, with "twenty-eight delightfully barbed Merritt miniatures."

    "Twenty-eight small but perfectly formed newies," says Mojo in a four-star review. "For all its concision this record doesn’t lack focus or melodic ingenuity, and is variously funny, graphic, pointed and bitchy. Highly entertaining, Quickies is more than a novelty record, though certainly novel."

    Record Collector, in its four-star review, says: "Reliably stuffed with arch black humour, quirky set pieces and sprinkled with pathos, Quickies once again showcases the winningly sideways thinking in Merritt’s brain. You once again got lost in his beautifully sardonic universe."

    The Magnetic Fields celebrate their new release with special residencies at intimate City Winery venues in seven cities—Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Boston, New York, Washington, and Philadelphia—in January and February of 2021. See below for details and tickets, or visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

    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.

    THE MAGNETIC FIELDS CITY WINERY RESIDENCIES

    Jan 17–20 Chicago
    Jan 22 Nashville
    Jan 24&25 Atlanta
    Jan 27–29 Boston
    Jan 31–Feb 3 New York City
    Feb 5–7 Philadelphia
    Feb 9–11 Washington, DC
       
    Journal Articles:Album ReleaseArtist News

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The Magnetic Fields' 'Quickies' Now Available Digitally; Vinyl Box Set Due May 29

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on May 15, 2020 - 9:30am
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Friday, May 15, 2020 - 09:30
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The Magnetic Fields’ Quickies—twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt—is now available digitally on Nonesuch Records, with a five 7" vinyl box set due May 29 and a single CD on June 19. "Pop's pithiest songwriter strikes again," says Uncut, with "twenty-eight delightfully barbed Merritt miniatures." A video for the track "I've Got a Date with Jesus," featuring footage shot by the band, was also released today and can be seen here. The Magnetic Fields are due to perform at City Winery venues across the US in early 2021.

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The Magnetic FieldsQuickies is now available digitally on Nonesuch Records, with a five 7" vinyl box set due May 29 and a single CD on June 19. The album—twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt, ranging in length from thirteen seconds to two minutes and thirty-five seconds—is available digitally on iTunes, Nonesuch Store, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Qobuz, and other digital services. The vinyl box set and CD are available to pre-order in the Nonesuch Store with an exclusive, limited-edition print autographed by Merritt.

To mark today's album release, a video for the track "I've Got a Date with Jesus," featuring footage shot by the band, was also released and can be seen here:

"Pop's pithiest songwriter strikes again," says Uncut, with "twenty-eight delightfully barbed Merritt miniatures."

"Twenty-eight small but perfectly formed newies," says Mojo in a four-star review. "For all its concision this record doesn’t lack focus or melodic ingenuity, and is variously funny, graphic, pointed and bitchy. Highly entertaining, Quickies is more than a novelty record, though certainly novel."

Record Collector, in its four-star review, says: "Reliably stuffed with arch black humour, quirky set pieces and sprinkled with pathos, Quickies once again showcases the winningly sideways thinking in Merritt’s brain. You once again got lost in his beautifully sardonic universe."

The Magnetic Fields celebrate their new release with special residencies at intimate City Winery venues in seven cities—Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Boston, New York, Washington, and Philadelphia—in January and February of 2021. See below for details and tickets, or visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

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.

THE MAGNETIC FIELDS CITY WINERY RESIDENCIES

Jan 17–20 Chicago
Jan 22 Nashville
Jan 24&25 Atlanta
Jan 27–29 Boston
Jan 31–Feb 3 New York City
Feb 5–7 Philadelphia
Feb 9–11 Washington, DC
   
featuredimage: 
The Magnetic Fields: "Quickies" [cover]

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