Critically acclaimed songwriter and mastermind behind The Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt's Obscurities is out today! Obscurities is a collection of Merritt’s hard-to-find recordings dating back to his time on Merge Records (1994-99) and prior.
"an uncommonly enjoyable odds-and-ends collection"~ Dusted
"a refreshingly diverse release from a laser-focused songwriter." ~ AV Club
Obscurities features 14 tracks in all, including five previously unreleased songs, all recorded prior to The Magnetic Fields’ seminal album 69 Love Songs. Three of the unreleased tracks hail from The Song From Venus, the unfinished science fiction musical written by Merritt and Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket. Also included on the record are five songs culled from various Merge-era 7” vinyl singles by The Magnetic Fields, along with two from Merritt’s guest vocalist-laden side project the 6ths, one from an audio book, one from the Oh, Merge compilation CD, and a track from a rare K Records cassette-only release.
Among the tracks on Obscurities is The Song From Venus’ “Forever and a Day,” a solo-acoustic ukelele-based love song reminiscent of 69 Love Songs’ “The Book of Love.” Also included on Obscurities is “The Sun and the Sea and the Sky,” a previously unreleased 69 Love Songs outtake. “This song didn’t go on 69 Love Songs because it wasn’t actually about romantic love,” Merritt points out. The album concludes with “You are not my Mother and I Want to go Home,” which originally appeared in the audio book version of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline for which Merritt composed the soundtrack.
In 1999 The Magnetic Fields’ three-CD collection (and now available as a 10-inch vinyl box set) 69 Love Songs established Stephin Merritt as one of this generation’s most talented songwriters. That breakthrough was preceded by a six-year collaboration between Merritt and Merge Records that yielded such indie-rock classics as The Magnetic Fields’ The Charm of the Highway Strip, Holiday and Get Lost.
We are happy to welcome Stephin Merritt back to Merge family with Obscurities available on CD, LP and digital download on August 23.
1. Forever and a Day (previously unreleased)
2. Rats in the Garbage of the Western World (The Magnetic Fields)
3. I Don't Believe You (The Magnetic Fields)
4. Plant White Roses (Buffalo Rome)
5. Rot in the Sun (the 6ths)
6. The Sun and the Sea and the Sky (previously unreleased)
7. Yet Another Girl (the 6ths)
8. Scream (Till you Make the Scene) (previously unreleased)
9. The Song from Venus (previously unreleased)
10. Beach-A-Boop-Boop (The Magnetic Fields)
11. When I'm Not Looking, You're Not There (The Magnetic Fields)
12. Take Ecstasy with Me (The Magnetic Fields)
13. When You're Young and In Love (previously unreleased)
14. You Are Not My Mother and I Want to Go Home (The Gothic Archies)