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Obscurities

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Album Review

B-sides and rarities collections can often help give fans insight into their favorite artists’ creative processes, or at the very least, provide either a light snack between releases or a post-retirement victory lap, but when an artist as prolific as Stephin Merritt decides to clean house, it can be a little daunting. Over the years, Merritt's seemingly endless supply of wry, melodic, basement electro-folk songs has required him to use multiple pseudonyms (Magnetic Fields, the 6ths, the Gothic Archies), nearly all which of make an appearance on Obscurities. At its best, the collection stirs some up left-field gems like “Forever and a Day” and “When You’re Young and in Love,” both of which were pulled from an unfinished musical called The Song from Venus, and the breezy Wasps’ Nest outtake “Yet Another Girl.”

Biography

Born: 17 January 1966

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Best known as the mastermind behind the Magnetic Fields, singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt has juggled multiple projects throughout his career, releasing a string of acclaimed albums with the Magnetic Fields while also working as a solo artist, a magazine journalist, and a member of several different bands. Raised by his countercultural mother, he spent much of his youth moving from house to house throughout the Northeast. It was during that time that Merritt became enamored with Top 40 pop, specifically...
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Obscurities, Stephin Merritt
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