I don’t get to write much for print. But a certain set of songs demanded the cover, and I allowed: a performance of The Magnetic Field’s iconic 69 Love Songs albums, recreated by nine local bands. The article consisted almost entirely of the performer’s answers to a series of questions I sent. It may have been self-indulgent: Getting some of my favorite bands to talk about some of my favorite songs, and then we all got to hear them perform at a sold-out show at the Grey Eagle. ‘Twas nice, and memorable. — Rebecca Sulock, co-managing editor, A&E
‘“69 Love Songs is an enviable pop masterpiece that shows off not only what seems to be stream of consciousness, back-handed songwriting, but also creative and economical production,’ writes Aaron Price, local songwriter/producer/singer who'll be debuting a new band, GladHammer, at the Saturday show. ‘Plus, it's a charming and unpredictable record, sort of like what a Valentine's Day breakfast in bed should be.’
Merritt's songs seem to make it all more manageable. You might think your pain or joy or weird situation is the only one of its kind, the Most or the Worst or the Biggest. But no, Merritt's charted more than five-dozen distinct forms of Joy and Pain and Oddity. Most of the songs clock at under three minutes, so really, how important could any of it be? Many are witty, and the wrenching ones are only a few songs away from the chipper ones. So laugh and revel, because tomorrow you could be in the middle of a different disc.
Says Andy Herod from Electric Owls: ‘Merritt has a great, human view of life and love. He acknowledges the futility of it, yet goes back for more and more like we all do. That's when music really hits home, when you hear someone singing things you always felt, but are afraid to admit, but they are just belting it out into the light of day so we can all look at it together and be like, ‘F—k yeah! That's me, too!’”
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