STEPHIN MERRIT

Obscurities (Reissue)

Merge Records

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Originally released in 2011, Stephin Merritt (of The Magnetic Fields) offers Obscurities, a collection of Merritt's hard-to-find recordings dating back to his time on Merge (1994-1999) and prior.

The 14 tracks on Obscurities were recorded prior to the release of The Magnetic Fields' seminal album 69 Love Songs, the CD collection which established Merritt as one of this generation's most talented songwriters. Three of the tracks hail from The Song from Venus, the unfinished science fiction musical written by Merritt and Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket. Also included are four songs culled from various Merge-era 7" vinyl singles by The Magnetic Fields; two from The 6ths, Merritt's guest vocalist-laden side project; one from an audio book; one from the Oh, Merge compilation CD; and a track from a rare K Records cassette-only release.

Among the tracks on Obscurities is The Song from Venus' "Forever and a Day," a solo-acoustic ukulele-based love song reminiscent of 69 Love Songs' "The Book of Love." Also included on Obscurities is "The Sun and the Sea and the Sky," a previously unreleased 69 Love Songs outtake. Merritt points out: "This song didn't go on 69 Love Songs because it wasn't actually about romantic love." The album concludes with "You Are Not My Mother and I Want to Go Home," which originally appeared in the audio book version of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, for which Merritt composed the soundtrack.