Good news for lovers of cantankerous, hyperacusis-afflicted songwriters (also, just plain old good news): Stephin Merritt and his Magnetic Fields will be back with their eighth LP Realism on January 26th. This comes after a year that offered a particularly momentous Merritt milestone in the classic 69 Love Songs’ 10th anniversary (alongside endorsing Puma and plotting to pen 50 successful Hollywood musicals), but the world could always use new Mag Fields songs to hear, and indie rockers could always use new Mag Fields songs to cover. We’ve been given precious little info aside from the album art and a tracklist, but that LP cover is pretty suggestive: It expands on the design template introduced with Love Songs and furthered by i (Magnetic strip on the side, image to the right), sure, but its notable for how it pairs with the last one. Then it was a blurred boy for an album called Distortion; here it’s a straight-lined girl for an album called Realism. At the very least, I think they’re telling us to expect much less Jesus & Mary Chain haze this time around.
01 “You Must Be Out of Your Mind”
03 “We Are Having A Hootenanny”
04 “I Don’t Know What To Say”
05 “The Dolls’ Tea Party”
06 “Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree”
07 “Walk a Lonely Road”
08 “Always Already Gone”
09 “Seduced and Abandoned”
10 “Better Things”
11 “Painted Flower”
12 “The Dada Polka”
13 “From a Sinking Boat”
Realism is out 1/26 via Nonesuch.