Stephin Merritt, ‘Obscurities’ (Merge)
Stephin Merritt never has lacked for ideas. Under various guises, but mostly as the Magnetic Fields, the wittily morose indie-pop maestro has issued or reissued a dozen or so records. This well-curated compilation dusts off a few more previously unreleased tracks that play like castoffs, but the rarities — including an unintentionally moving Patsy Cline parody, a Moog-warped “I Don’t Believe You,” and an alternate version of “Take Ecstasy With Me” sung by longtime cohort Susan Anway — are prime Merritt. Perfect for Magnetic Fields fans let down by 2010’s concept-heavy Realism.