On The Flippity-Flop: The Magnetic Fields Put Up “Smoke And Mirrors”


Welcome to “On The Flippity-Flop,” where your Idolators spotlight unjustly ignored B-sides, bonus tracks, compilation contributions, and EP cuts. Send your suggestions to tips@idolator.com.

ARTIST: The Magnetic FieldsSONG: “Smoke And Mirrors (James Noble / Mark Robinson Remix)”FIRST APPEARANCE: MRG 100, 1997WHY IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN A-SIDE: “Smoke,” which appeared on the Magnetic Fields’ 1995 album Get Lost, was originally an airy, minimal lament; the Noble/Robinson remix came out two years later, on a remix EP celebrating Merge Records’ 100th release. Noble and Robinson amp up the lushness quotient of the backing track, and adds a chattering synth underneath; they also turn the song into a duet, dubbing in the super-girlish vocals of Blast Off Country Style’s Evelyn Hurley as a counterpoint to Stephin Merritt’s deep voice. The end result is stunningly bittersweet, and one of the saddest lost-love songs we’ve ever stumbled across.

Magnetic Fields – Smoke And Mirrors (James Noble / Mark Robinson Remix) [MP3, link removed]