UNDER THE RADAR: The Magnetic Fields – “’71 I Think I’ll Make Another World”.
Magnetic Fields’ main man, Stephin Merritt, is no stranger to a sizeable project, his most famous album is after all a three disc, three-hour long, 69 song opus covering almost every aspect of love you can imagine. So writing an album of fifty songs, one for every year of your life, well that seems a pretty straight forward task in comparison. Started on his 50th birthday, 50 Song Memoir, which was released on Nonesuch last week, is in many ways his musical auto-biography. A treasure trove of non-fiction events; an intimidating but brilliant collection, it’s the sort of record you feel as a listener, you probably won’t truly get your head around for many months, years, even lifetimes to come.
This week to promote the release, The Magnetic Fields have shared videos for a number of tracks from the record, our favourite of which is, ’71 I Think I’ll Make Another World. Set when Stephin was six, it finds him dreaming of starting a new world, and the freedom that would come with his own planet, as he sings, “it may not start very large, but no-one else will be in charge”. Musically it builds around a gently strummed mandolin, and sonorous, soaring strings, a bit like Scott Walker if he ever did anything lo-fi. It’s a fine introduction to the 50 Song Memoir, a record which in time might just go down as Stephin’s finest work.
50 Song Memoir is out now via Nonesuch.
.for the rabbits