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The Magnetic Fields




Released: 29th May 2020


5x7" boxset

Released: 29th May 2020

£48.99 £33.98

‘An incomparable lyricist capable of balancing arch wit with painfully acute observation’ – Guardian.

Nonesuch Records releases the Magnetic Fields’ Quickies, a set of five vinyl EPs that features twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt, ranging in length from thirteen seconds to two minutes and thirty-five seconds. 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 theatre 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.



  1. Castles of America
  2. The Biggest Tits in History
  3. The Day the Politicians Died
  4. Castle Down a Dirt Road
  5. Bathroom Quickie
  6. My Stupid Boyfriend
  7. Love Gone Wrong
  8. Favorite Bar
  9. Kill a Man a Week
  10. Kraftwerk in a Blackout
  11. When She Plays the Toy Piano
  12. Death Pact (Let's Make A)
  13. i’ve Got a Date With Jesus
  14. Come, Life, Shaker Life!
  15. (I Want to Join A) Biker Gang
  16. Rock 'n' Roll Guy
  17. You've Got a Friend in Beelzebub
  18. Let's Get Drunk Again (And Get Divorced)
  19. The Best Cup of Coffee in Tennessee
  20. When the Brat Upstairs Got a Drum Kit
  21. The Price You Pay
  22. The Boy in the Corner
  23. Song of the Ant
  24. I Wish I Had Fangs and a Tail
  25. Evil Rhythm
  26. She Says Hello
  27. The Little Robot Girl
  28. I Wish I Were a Prostitute Again