Sunday, May 10, 2009
The Magnetic Fields - The House of Tomorrow EP
Stephin Merritt is one of the most prolific songwriters of the past 20 years, not only because of his work under The Magnetic Fields moniker, but also as the primary songwriter for The 6ths, The Gothic Archies, The Future Bible Heroes and his work as a solo artist. Though The House of Tomorrow EP is neither his most celebrated or ambitious work, it remains one of my favorite Magnetic Fields releases for a number of reasons. It was my introduction to the band when I was incredibly sick at my friend Robin's house in North Providence, RI. I had an extremely high fever, woke up disoriented and almost tripped down the stairs on my way to curl up on her couch. My friend Matt put this EP on the stereo and it was the perfect thing to be listening to at that moment. It's so lo-fi and warm and Merritt's bassy voice is soothing and rhythmic. I have a tendency to enjoy repetitive songs and that's exactly the concept behind this record - five looped songs, primarily centering around the theme of love, all clocking in around 2:30 and done in a comfortable synth-pop fashion.
For those only familiar with 69 Love songs, The House of Love will feel like a dramatic shift in sound because of its rigid uniformity. However, that is part of the appeal and something I enjoy greatly about Merritt's songwriting. He seems to have an uncanny ability to zone in on exactly what he's going for and make every recording a transparent replication of that vision.
The Magnetic Fields - The House of Tomorrow