The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt on Brevity, Dread + Writing Songs in Bars

We speak with the prolific singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist ahead of his seven-city tour

Beloved for creating songs that are simultaneously tender and witty, sweet and subversive, uncluttered and rich, laconic and entrancing, The Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt—whose mellifluous baritone is immediately recognizable—stopped writing at the onset of the pandemic. “I gave up,” he tells us. “I started doing a lot more photography.” He gave up because Merritt’s ritual is writing exclusively in bars, an impossibility in NYC for …

Lucy Dacus: Thumbs

A fan favorite since its 2018 live debut, “Thumbs” by singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus has been recorded in haunting fashion. From the gripping story that unfolds within to the minimal, eerie instrumentation behind it all, the track wastes no note as it burrows into the listener. “Like most songs I write, I wasn’t expecting it and it made me feel weird, almost sick,” Dacus explains in …

Giveon: Heartbreak Anniversary

Long Beach, California-based singer/songwriter Giveon’s newest, “Heartbreak Anniversary,” fuses modern R&B with the baritone deliveries of legendary artists like Frank Sinatra and Bobby Caldwell. The simple instrumentals radiates while Giveon’s vocals dive deeper, ultimately matching the song’s lowest bass notes. Spliced guitar interjects, adding another layer to the soundscape.