Though Stephin Merritt has been keeping the flow of music coming pretty regularly over the last few years via bi-annual Magnetic Fields releases, it’s been almost seven years since any of his lesser-known projects have put out a proper record. Way back in the olden times of 2006, Merritt’s spooky side project The Gothic Archies released a soundtrack to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. For the Future Bible Heroes, where Merritt’s compositions are performed by multi-instrumentalist Chris Ewen and longtime collaborator, bestie, and Magnetic Fields member Claudia Gonson, 2013 marks 11 years without new music. FACT is reporting that all this is about to change, though! FBH will release their third full-length record, titled Partygoing, on Merge come June 4.
Keeping in line with the tone of past releases, we can expect Partygoing to sound like a great time on the surface while serious and seriously sad meaning lurks just below the glossy sheen of synthesized pop. Many of the title tracks reference libations, possibly meaning Merritt has found a spot in his new-ish home of L.A. that works with his preferred method of songwriting — sitting in the corner of a bar and drinking until inspiration hits. It might sound glib, but if anyone is resigned to being something that others find deplorable (and then using those circumstances to make a living), it’s Stephin Merritt.
Merge will commemorate the release of Partygoing by concurrently releasing a four-disc set containing FBH’s previous two albums (1997’s Memories of Love and 2002’s Eternal Youth), the new record, and a final disc that collects FBH’s various EPs and B-side tracks. Partygoing tracklisting is below along with the album’s first single, “Living, Loving, Partygoing.” The bouncy synths, courtesy of Ewen, sound more like mid-90s-era Magnetic Fields than any of Merritt’s output has for a long while, so put your dancing shoes on, have a drink, a good cry, and enjoy!
01. A Drink Is Just the Thing
02. Sadder than the Moon
03. Let’s Go to Sleep (And Never Come Back)
04. Satan, Your Way Is a Hard One
05. A New Kind of Town
06. All I Care About Is You
07. Living, Loving, Partygoing
08. Keep Your Children in a Coma
09. How Very Strange
10. Love Is a Luxury I Can No Longer Afford
11. Digging My Own Grave
12. Drink Nothing But Champagne
13. When Evening Falls on Tinseltown
[Photo: Kimberly Butler]