Assisted Listen: The Magnetic Fields' 'Distortion'

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LD Beghtol wrote Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs: A Field Guide. Robin Holland hide caption

toggle caption Robin Holland

Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields have quietly made some of the most groundbreaking pop music in recent history.

LD Beghtol, who sang and played on the Fields' epic 69 Love Songs, presents a guide to the band's new record, Distortion. Beghtol, who later wrote a book about that album, describes Merritt's new project as the collision of pristine, esoteric pop with feedback that just won't quit.

The new Magnetic Fields record may be an unlikely cocktail, but it's well within the brilliant Merritt's reach. "He'll write songs about zombies and vampires or refer to critical theory that you don't normally get in three-minute pop songs," Beghtol says. "The deep, literate quality of his being certainly comes across in most of his work."

On the blog, a track from LD Beghtol's new record, Amoral Certitudes.

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