NEW YORK — Indie pop icons The Magnetic Fields are putting the final touches on their latest album, with plans to write and record just another 100 or so more songs before releasing it, sources close to the band confirmed.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’ve only ever released two proper full-length albums, and then just a whole bunch of 14-song EPs,” explained band leader and primary songwriter Stephen Merritt. “My only regret with choosing to do a 50-track ‘memoir’ for each year I’ve been alive for our previous album was that I wasn’t at least 105 years old when I wrote it. So for this album, I figure we still need another 100 or so more songs before we can start the final mixdown. Half of the new tunes are going to be about my old cats, and then the rest about love, because if you ask me, that topic has not been covered nearly enough in pop music.”
A studio musician who requested to remain anonymous expressed frustration with Merritt’s writing style.
“I’m happy for the gig, but I really wish I was being paid hourly. Stephen is so exhaustingly prolific. Sometimes you’ll be chatting with him just about what you did that weekend but mentally he’s writing a song about deep sea diving suits,” explained the anonymous source. “Today I’ve spent the last seven hours learning to play glockenspiel for a song he wrote on the elevator ride up to the studio. How the hell are we supposed to be so twee when we’re all so exhausted?”
Similarly prolific indie rocker Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices discussed his often fractured relationship with Merritt.
“Yeah, me and Steve got into it back in the day. Sort of an indie pop arms race,” explained Pollard before momentarily taking a break to record and release a new solo record. “They’d release a new 74-song album, so we’d quickly pound out six LPs with increasingly unhinged song titles. They’d craft a majestic and sprawling rumination on relationships, and we’d get shitfaced. Which is maybe unrelated, but we did do that a lot. It got so bad that for most of 1997 I went everywhere holding a guitar and recording every sound I made using a hybrid sombrero/four track device.”
At press time, Pitchfork has placed its editorial team on temporary hiatus due to burnout from covering Merritt’s latest work.