Leigh MichaelSaturday,29 December 2012

The Snap:

Want to watch a music video that will sort of make your skin crawl? If so, allow me refer you to Hollywood Cemetery Forever Sings, by the talented Father John Misty.

Father John Misty is the moniker for Joshua Tillman, who was the Fleet Foxes’ drummer from 2008 to 2012. His solo career showcases his breadth of talent, which extends far beyond drumming (if you’ve listened to his songs, you’ll know what I mean – this guy can sing). In May, he released Fear Fun, his first album under Father John Misty. The entire collection is a conglomeration of deep sadness and even darkness — but Tillman also injects just enough life into each song to keep you from crawling into a hole of depression.

The Download:

Basically, the music video of “Hollywood Cemetery Forever Sings” epitomizes Fear Fun to me. It’s dark and more than a little creepy. The song seems to be steeped in something that is far more expansive than unhappiness — Tillman digs into the recesses of depression and brings it into his music. In an interview with Sub Pop Records, he explains that he conceptualized the album on a long, solo road trip in a van full of mushrooms.

No great shocker there.

On Father John Misty’s website, the music video is described as such: “In this 3 hour experimental film, Aubrey Plaza reprises her career-defining role as Duncan Splays, a retired bounty-hunter and casual naturalist. Directed by Noel Paul and also featuring Alexi Wasser as ‘Nihluss.’”

Does it make sense? Not really. But it gives the sense of this video being much greater than a four-minute snapshot. It’s a story, and we are lucky enough to watch a little slice of it.

“Hollywood Cemetery Forever Sings” is personal. It draws you in and makes you feel as though just a little bit of this song is about you. Now I’m not sure if you’ve ever crashed a funeral in a drug-induced haze like actress Aubrey Plaza does in the video — it would make for a bold entrance indeed — but she exudes a sense of discomfort and “unbelonging” that everyone has felt at least once in their life.

So, as 2012 to a close, I think that this is a song – and a video – that deserves some recognition from this year. Just make sure to look at some pictures of cute puppies and kittens afterward.

Hat Tips:

Youtube, Father John Misty, Sub Pop Records, Image Credit: Flickr

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  1. […] dark style. It does not have the car-crash-i-can’t-look-away that you’ll find in “Hollywood Cemetery Forever Sings,” nor does it have the psychedelics-inspired confusion that you get in “Nancy From Now […]

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