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Quickies

The Magnetic Fields

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Is there such a thing as being too prolific or having too much to say? Stephin Merritt, one of popular music's true eccentrics, is also one of its most copious songwriters. Over the years, in side projects like The 6ths, The Gothic Archies and Future Bible Heroes, as well as his main band, The Magnetic Fields, Merritt has spun his own wonderfully ornate and populous creative universe, one that has often expressed itself in massive multi-song, multi-volume epics. While he may never again equal the massive chunk of creativity of the exceptional 69 Love Songs (1999), Merritt did give it an equally compelling run for its money with his last outing, 50 Song Memoir (2017).

While there is no doubting the craft and intelligence behind his artful melodies and silly, absurdist sense of humor, there is an argument to be made that Merritt might focus his vision more effectively by distilling even further his folk pop sprawl. That may be some of the inspiration behind Quickies, a 28-track collection of bite-sized snatches of love, wit and wisdom. Musically, the uber brief format—all songs are well under the two and a half minute mark, with the shortest at 13 seconds—compresses his synth folk melodies into hooky flashes, all orchestrated with his trademark blend of keyboards (Moog, ARP, Omnichord, Wurlitzer) and exotic acoustic instruments (cigar box guitar, banjolele, wine box cello). Along with Merritt's deep, resounding croon, the vocals are handled by longtime Magnetic Fields vocalists Claudia Gonson and Shirley Simms. Lyrically, random thoughts become tuneful snatches with typically droll titles like "Kraftwerk in a Blackout," Let's Get Drunk Again (and Get Divorced)," and "I Wish I Had Fangs and Tail." With highlights like the New Orleans swirl "Evil Rhythm," the abject frolic "I've Got a Date with Jesus" or topical single "The Day The Politicians Died," these deadpan bursts are not only essential for fans but a prime introduction to the austere methods and approachable humor of Merritt's musical cosmos. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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Quickies

The Magnetic Fields

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1
Castles of America
00:00:34

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Background Vocals, Autoharp

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

2
The Biggest Tits in History
00:02:12

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - John Woo, Electric Guitar - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

3
The Day the Politicians Died
00:01:57

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Piano, Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

4
Castle Down a Dirt Road
00:01:47

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Banjo, Lead Vocals, Writer - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Background Vocals

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

5
Bathroom Quickie
00:00:46

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals - Daniel Handler, Accordion, Celeste Piano

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

6
My Stupid Boyfriend
00:02:01

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Banjo, Vocals, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Vocals

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

7
Love Gone Wrong
00:02:13

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Background Vocals, Autoharp

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

8
Favorite Bar
00:01:12

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - John Woo, Electric Guitar - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

9
Kill a Man a Week
00:00:59

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Autoharp, Whispers Vocals

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

10
Kraftwerk in a Blackout
00:01:49

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - John Woo, Electric Guitar - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

11
When She Plays the Toy Piano
00:02:06

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer, Ukulele - Claudia Gonson, Percussion, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - John Woo, Guitar - Sam Davol, Cello - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals - Pinky Weitzman, Violin

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

12
Death Pact (Let's Make A)
00:00:17

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Moog - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

13
I've Got a Date With Jesus
00:02:16

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer, Ukulele - Claudia Gonson, Percussion, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - John Woo, Guitar - Sam Davol, Cello - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals - Pinky Weitzman, Violin

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

14
Come, Life, Shaker Life!
00:02:35

PUBLIC DOMAIN, Writer - Stephin Merritt, Producer, Arranger - Claudia Gonson, Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - John Woo, Electric Guitar - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Vocals

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

15
(I Want to Join A) Biker Gang
00:02:21

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Percussion, Lead Vocals, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - Sam Davol, Cello - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Programming

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

16
Rock 'n' Roll Guy
00:02:33

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals, Autoharp

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

17
You've Got a Friend in Beelzebub
00:01:13

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Piano, Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

18
Let's Get Drunk Again (And Get Divorced)
00:01:15

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer, Ukulele - Claudia Gonson, Percussion, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - John Woo, Guitar - Sam Davol, Cello - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals - Pinky Weitzman, Violin

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

19
The Best Cup of Coffee in Tennessee
00:02:07

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Banjo, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

20
When the Brat Upstairs Got a Drum Kit
00:01:52

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Banjo, Drums, Lead Vocals, Writer - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Background Vocals, Programming - Chris Ewen, Piano

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

21
The Price You Pay
00:01:52

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer, Ukulele - Claudia Gonson, Percussion, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - John Woo, Guitar - Sam Davol, Cello - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals - Pinky Weitzman, Violin

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

22
The Boy in the Corner
00:00:55

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

23
Song of the Ant
00:00:43

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Piano, Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

24
I Wish I Had Fangs and a Tail
00:01:51

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Vocals, Writer, Mellotron - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - Sam Davol, Cello - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Chris Ewen, Piano, Mellotron - Benny Grotto, Percussion

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

25
Evil Rhythm
00:01:47

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer, Background Vocals - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Lead Vocals - Daniel Handler, Accordion, Celeste Piano

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

26
She Says Hello
00:01:01

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Background Vocals

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

27
The Little Robot Girl
00:02:11

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Writer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Vocals, Autoharp

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

28
I Wish I Were a Prostitute Again
00:02:15

Stephin Merritt, Producer, Electric Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, Wurlitzer - Claudia Gonson, Background Vocals - Jeff Lipton, Masterer - Sam Davol, Cello - The Magnetic Fields, MainArtist - Shirley Simms, Programming

2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States. 2020 Nonesuch Records Inc. for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the United States.

Descripción del álbum

Is there such a thing as being too prolific or having too much to say? Stephin Merritt, one of popular music's true eccentrics, is also one of its most copious songwriters. Over the years, in side projects like The 6ths, The Gothic Archies and Future Bible Heroes, as well as his main band, The Magnetic Fields, Merritt has spun his own wonderfully ornate and populous creative universe, one that has often expressed itself in massive multi-song, multi-volume epics. While he may never again equal the massive chunk of creativity of the exceptional 69 Love Songs (1999), Merritt did give it an equally compelling run for its money with his last outing, 50 Song Memoir (2017).

While there is no doubting the craft and intelligence behind his artful melodies and silly, absurdist sense of humor, there is an argument to be made that Merritt might focus his vision more effectively by distilling even further his folk pop sprawl. That may be some of the inspiration behind Quickies, a 28-track collection of bite-sized snatches of love, wit and wisdom. Musically, the uber brief format—all songs are well under the two and a half minute mark, with the shortest at 13 seconds—compresses his synth folk melodies into hooky flashes, all orchestrated with his trademark blend of keyboards (Moog, ARP, Omnichord, Wurlitzer) and exotic acoustic instruments (cigar box guitar, banjolele, wine box cello). Along with Merritt's deep, resounding croon, the vocals are handled by longtime Magnetic Fields vocalists Claudia Gonson and Shirley Simms. Lyrically, random thoughts become tuneful snatches with typically droll titles like "Kraftwerk in a Blackout," Let's Get Drunk Again (and Get Divorced)," and "I Wish I Had Fangs and Tail." With highlights like the New Orleans swirl "Evil Rhythm," the abject frolic "I've Got a Date with Jesus" or topical single "The Day The Politicians Died," these deadpan bursts are not only essential for fans but a prime introduction to the austere methods and approachable humor of Merritt's musical cosmos. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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