The first album in five years from The Magnetic Fields will be released in early 2017. 50 Song Memoir will be released by Nonesuch Records, and will be the follow-up to Love at the Bottom of the Sea, which was released in 2012.
The announcement came via Facebook, and stated that announcements about the album will be made periodically throughout the next couple of months. The Facebook announcement also stated the band would start performing live at the end of 2016, and the first three acts have been released. “The album’s title suggests that it’s more of a spiritual successor to 69 Love Songs, the three-volume concept album that remains the group’s most beloved and critically acclaimed release to this day.
The band is scheduled to debut the new album at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2016 Next Wave Festival. The Academy’s website released an even description, stating, “Stephin Merritt, the master craftsman behind the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs, is one of our great living songwriters — a sardonic Stephen Foster with an expansive literary wit. Celebrating his 50th birthday and a new album on Nonesuch Records, Merritt and band perform two distinct programs of new songs — one for every year of his melodious existence. In a spectacular staging featuring 50 instruments from Merritt’s formidable collection, the seven-member band recounts his five decades on planet Earth, covering everything from bedbugs and Buddhism to his conception by hippies on a houseboat in St. Thomas.”
The band has announced only a few tour dates, but more are sure to follow:
12/02 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Academy of Music (2016 Next Wave Festival)
12/03 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Academy of Music (2016 Next Wave Festival)
03/21 – Durham, NC @ Carolina Theater
03/22 – Durham, NC @ Carolina Theater
04/27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Royce Hall, UCLA
04/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Royce Hall, UCLA