Joining us for this special Indie Rock Hit Parade mini-concert is a band who has been a touchstone of our namesake genre for decades. The Magnetic Fields formed in the late ’80s as the vehicle for Boston-based songwriter Stephin Merritt. After a handful of early releases, the band hit its creative stride in the early ’90s as Merritt assumed most of the lead vocal duties. Earlier this summer, the Magnetic Fields (currently featuring vocalist Shirley Simms, cellist Sam Davol, keyboardist Chris Ewen, and guitarist Anthony Kaczynski) mounted a short run of east coast dates that included a stop at the Music Hall at World Cafe Live Philadelphia.

Hear the first five songs from the set below, featuring two selections from the group’s most recent release, 2020’s Quickies, as well a fan favorite from their iconic triple album, 69 Love Songs. Next year, the band will celebrate that masterpiece’s 25th anniversary with a series of multi-night residencies in cities across the country. Check out the tour dates (as well as the full setlist and some of John Vettese’s photos from the Philly show) below…

The Magnetic Fields
The Music Hall at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
  • Castles of America
  • I Don't Believe in the Sun
  • Love Goes Home to Paris in the Spring
  • Kraftwerk in a Blackout
  • Born on a Train
  • Come Back from San Francisco
  • Desert Island
  • Kiss Me Like You Mean It
  • Andrew in Drag
  • The Flowers She Sent and the Flowers She Said She Sent
  • The Day the Politicians Died
  • (I Want to Join a) Biker Gang
  • Candy
  • Drive On, Driver
  • The Book of Love
  • Quick!
  • '01: Have You Seen it in the Snow?
  • Smoke and Mirrors
  • Papa Was a Rodeo
  • All My Little Words
  • The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
  • Death Pact (Let's Make a)
  • No One Will Ever Love You
  • All the Umbrellas in London
  • '02: Be True to Your Bar
  • Take Ecstasy with Me
  • '14: I Wish I Had Pictures
  • A Chicken with its Head Cut Off
  • 100,000 Fireflies
  • It's Only Time

69 Love Songs anniversary tour poster | courtesy of Merge Records