Listen To: Father John Misty, ‘I Love You, Honeybear’

Listen To: Father John Misty, ‘I Love You, Honeybear’

Leigh MichaelSaturday,21 February 2015

The Snap:

J. Tillman just rolled out his second (and long-awaited!) album as alter-ego Father John Misty. I Love You, Honeybear is available on both iTunes and Amazon.

The Download: 

When I first got wind of J. Tillman, he got Aubrey Plaza to become a manic, crazed, fucked up bounty hunter. And it wasn’t even one of her and Andy’s funky role-playing escapades.

That was back in 2012. In the three years since, it feels like J. Tillman and Father John Misty have parted ways a little bit. They’re still close, but cautiously so. There’s more introspection, and some distance. Songs like “Hollywood Cemetery Forever Sings” felt really personal, creating this idea that you were having a one-on-one with Tillman himself. Fear Fun kind of seemed like a journal.

If Fear Fun was a journal, then I Love You, Honeybear is a diary. It’s loaded with introversion, and it kind of leaves the listener feeling like you’re listening to the musical result of serious soul searching. Tillman described the album as an extension of himself in an interview with Rolling Stone: “I was talking big talk, like, ‘I’m gonna write songs about love that aren’t banal,’ but when I finished the album and started playing it for people, I wanted to melt into the floor because I realized I hadn’t made an album about love—I’d made an album about myself, in this unbelievably vulnerable way, at the risk of assassinating my own character.”

Father John Misty is an awesome musical personality, but it’s been refreshing to see the J. Tillman beneath peek out a bit more in this album. Some highlights are:

Bored in the USA” — A beautiful and depressing track about unemployed and “things”-hungry twentysomethings. He explains the laugh track that creeps into the song: “It’s just kind of a cruel, grotesque sound to me, and I think that laughter, in a lot of cases, is a form of domination — a way of neutralizing uncomfortable ideas.”

“I Love You, Honeybear” — Gears up with a great slow burn of melodrama. The slow pace really lets you enjoy the lyrics (hint: it’s not quite as cheerful as the title might indicate).

“Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” [watch below] — This feels like a mashup of original content, John Lennon, and instrumentals from an early Aretha song. Am I the only one who sees it?

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Hat Tips:

NPR, Rolling Stone, David Letterman, Image Credit: Flickr

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