The Magnetic Fields is a band led by the New York City singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt. Albums released by Merritt under the name "The Magnetic Fields" usually consist of synth-pop music in a 1980s style underlying clever lyrics, often about love, that are sometimes ironic, sometimes bitter and sometimes celebratory. While The Wayward Bus and Distant Plastic Trees (now available together as a compilation) are sung by Susan Anway, all subsequent albums are principally sung by Merritt himself.
The band began principally as Merritt's studio project, with Merritt playing all instruments. With the help of friend Claudia Gonson, who had played in Merritt's band The Zinnias during high school, a live band was assembled in Boston, where Merritt and Gonson lived, to play Merritt's compositions. The band's first live performance was at TT the Bears Place in Boston, MA in 1991 where they played to a sparse audience expecting to see Galaxie 500 spinoff Magnetophone. The live performance sounded nothing like the recordings, which continued to be true for the band until recent years when the two sounds - studio and live - began to converge.
|years active||1990 – present|
|country||New York City|
|music genre||Synth-pop, Rock (music)|
|current members|| Stephin Merritt|
John Woo (musician)
|past members|| Susan Anway|