Distant Plastic Trees

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Distant Plastic Trees
Distant Plastic Trees.gif
Studio album by
GenreSynthpop, twee pop, indie pop
LabelPoPuP, Victor, Red Flame
ProducerStephin Merritt
The Magnetic Fields chronology
Distant Plastic Trees
The Wayward Bus
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(neither)[2]
Spin Alternative Record Guide7/10[3]

Distant Plastic Trees is the debut studio album by American indie pop band The Magnetic Fields, released in 1991. Lead vocals on the album are performed by Susan Anway.

The album is noteworthy for its stripped down sound and largely synthesized instrumentation. Stephin Merritt himself described the album as a 'small record, intentionally small' and heavily inspired by Young Marble Giants.[4]

The song "Babies Falling" is a cover of a song by The Wild Stares.


Distant Plastic Trees was originally released in Japan and the United Kingdom on the RCA Victor and Red Flame labels, respectively. The album was released in the United States on the band's own imprint, PoPuP.

Merge Records reissued the album in 1994 as a double album compilation with the band's second album, The Wayward Bus. The song "Plant White Roses" was omitted from the Merge reissue.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Stephin Merritt, except where noted.

1."Railroad Boy" 2:59
2."Smoke Signals" 3:28
3."You Love to Fail" 2:30
4."Kings" 2:15
5."Babies Falling"
  • Steve Gregoropoulos
  • Fran Miller
  • Justin Burrill
6."Living in an Abandoned Firehouse with You"
  • Merritt
  • John Gage
  • Genève Gil
7."Tar-Heel Boy" 2:26
8."Falling in Love with the Wolfboy" 4:05
9."Josephine" 3:08
10."100,000 Fireflies" 3:20
11."Plant White Roses" 4:52


Additional personnel
  • Susan Anway – lead vocals
  • Ken Michaels – engineering
  • Wendy Smith – album cover
  • Art Daly – insert photo


  1. ^ Orens, Geoff. "Distant Plastic Trees – Magnetic Fields". AllMusic. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Magnetic Fields: Distant Plastic Trees". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  4. ^ https://www.avclub.com/stephin-merritt-1798207855