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The Magnetic Fields


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Cambridge, Boston MA, United States (1990 – present)

The Magnetic Fields is a New York-based group fronted by Stephin Merritt. Recent albums released under the name “The Magnetic Fields” usually consist of music in a 1980s style underlying clever lyrics which are often heavily ironic. While synth-pop often forms the foundation of their music, The Magnetic Fields’ music borrows from many other styles, notably , and .

The band was originally formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1990 by friends Merritt and (percussionist/pianist/vocalist) Claudia Gonson. While 1991’s Distant Plastic Trees and 1992’s The Wayward Bus (now most easily available together as a compilation, The Wayward Bus / Distant Plastic Trees) are sung by Susan Anway, all subsequent albums are principally sung by Merritt himself.

Longtime members include: Gonson, (cellist) Sam Davol, and (banjo player/guitarist) John Woo. Contributors include (but are not limited to) the singers Susan Anway, Dudley Klute, Shirley Simms, and LD Beghtol, and the accordionist/writer Daniel Handler (famous for writing the childrens’ books A Series of Unfortunate Events under the alias Lemony Snicket).

Their most popular and best-selling album to date is 69 Love Songs issued on Merge Records as a triple album filled with many fairly short songs that are reminiscent of early Beatles productions.


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  • Iliterat

    Some of the first results that come up when you type his name into Google are hilarious. I love badly written hit-pieces.

    1 Jul 10:03am Reply
  • Cellexius

    I think I'm in love with Stephin Merritt's voice lol

    10 May 5:49pm Reply
  • jessyrocker


    9 May 3:11pm Reply
  • DCMcCracker

    I rather like Distortion, but I like noisy music. They were going for a JaMC vibe. Not for everyone, like the person that said they got a headache. Understandable.

    20 Feb 5:56am Reply
  • sigridwallinahl

    Realism is too real. Distortion is too distorted. I heard DIstortion on a small, portable boombox once when I was a temp at some strange workplace. It sounded horrible and gave me a head ache.

    28 Jan 7:53pm Reply
  • p_o_l_i_s_w_a_g

    this band will always take me back to the wild days of my youth ♡

    18 Jan 4:44pm Reply
  • Nakkinak

    I can show you sadder poetry than you ever dreamed there could be - I know all the saddest people most of them are dead now

    17 Jan 7:08pm Reply
  • lolstansa

    69 Love Songs filled the empty hole that had been drilled into my heart, THANK YOU for capturing that sensitive emotion and making it okay

    29 Dec 2014 Reply
  • VadiushaKomarov


    19 Nov 2014 Reply
  • kamiekaymee

    I love his writing, so cheeky & so true!

    20 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Teddy69_

    the magnetic fedoras [2]

    16 Sep 2014 Reply
  • KalleHoo

    lol at fedora

    8 Sep 2014 Reply
  • RiskGrave

    Got me through the hardest times of my life.

    1 Sep 2014 Reply
  • theironictea

    the magnetic feels [8]

    29 Aug 2014 Reply
  • stampit

    really really sad songs everywhere

    27 Aug 2014 Reply
  • emergingsynergy

    Well I'm sorry that I love you It's a phase I'm going through There is nothing that I can do And I'm sorry that I love you

    12 Aug 2014 Reply
  • anchortiger


    4 Aug 2014 Reply
  • TheMalkinJewel

    69 love songs best album ever

    26 Jul 2014 Reply
  • Rocker_d

    I love Stephin Merritt's writing skills ;) It's fucking ironic and romantic .

    19 Jul 2014 Reply
  • Nimbie

    The Wayward Bus is so Phil Spector

    4 Jul 2014 Reply
  • All 1708 shouts