[caption id="attachment_23305" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Photo: Marcelo Krasilcic"][/caption]
Stephen Merritt has spent his career exploring the unpredictable nature of love, and on “Andrew In Drag,” the first single from the Magnetic Fields upcoming album Love At The Bottom Of The Sea, he’s found yet a new wrinkle.
In less than two and a half minutes the always witty and precise lyricist tells a story of a man falling in love with his friend after realizing how hot his bro looks dressed as a lady: “I don’t know why I even went/ It’s really not my bag/ I just thought it might be funny/ To see Andrew in drag.” Merritt uses a simple and naggingly catchy rhyme scheme here, and goes on to playfully rhyme "drag" with "stag," as well as with the F word. Merritt is having fun with gender ideas, but there’s a real sense that the central character is mourning a happiness he never anticipated, and can never return to.
All this, and it’s got a nice new-wave shuffle beat (glad that “no synths trilogy” is finally over) and a chorus that drags out the word "draaaaaaag" until it’s firmly lodged in your head.
The Magnetic Fields' new album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, is out March 5 on Merge Records.