For those of you who enjoyed our FATHER JOHN MISTY interview in issue #66 here’s his brilliant new video. We loved Adam Green’s Aladdin and are so pleased to see cast member Macauley Caulkin playing a crucified Kurt Cobain and what resembles left-overs from the film’s set. It’s a lot of fun, so kudos to Misty for taking this route.
It’s great to have FATHER JOHN MISTY back. Who else could sum up the mad world we live in over these testing times better than him?
Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy is the highly anticipated follow-up to his internationally acclaimed album, I Love You, Honeybear. The album will be released 7th April on Deluxe 2xLP / 2xLP / CD / DL / CS in the UK / Europe through Bella Union and the rest of the world from Sub Pop. Watch the video of the album’s title track above.
Pure Comedy highlights include the title track alongside standouts ‘Leaving LA’, ‘Total Entertainment Forever’, ‘Ballad Of The Dying Man’, ‘When The God Of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell To Pay’ and ‘Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before The Revolution’.
Since 2012, Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, has unexpectedly emerged as a singular (if not undeniably, um, idiosyncratic) voice. Whether by virtue of his lyrics, which routinely defy the presumed polarities of wit and empathy; his live performances which may perhaps be described best as “intimately berzerk”, or the infuriating line he seems to occupy between canny and total fraud online or in interviews, Father John Misty has cultivated a rare space for himself in the musical landscape – that of a real enigma. Pure Comedy sees Tillman at the height of these powers: as a lyricist, and equally so a cultural observer – at times bordering on freakishly prescient. Tillman’s bent critiques, bared humanity and gently warped classic songwriting are all here in equal measure and – at 75 minutes – there’s a veritable fuck ton of it. The album navigates themes of progress, technology, fame, the environment, politics, aging, social media, human nature, human connection and his own role in it all with his usual candour, and in terms as timely as they are timeless.
Tillmanwrote the majority of Pure Comedy throughout 2015 and recorded all the basic tracking and vocals live to tape (in no more than two takes each) at United Studios (fka the legendary Ocean Way Studios, favoured by Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys) in Los Angeles March 2016.
Pure Comedy was co-produced once again by Josh Tillman and long-time producer Jonathan Wilson; mixed by Tillman, Wilson and Trevor Spencer, and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios. The album features string, horn and choral arrangements from classical iconoclast Gavin Bryars (Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Sinking Of The Titanic), with additional contributions from Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett.
Tillman and Grant James (“Funtimes in Babylon,” “I Love You, Honeybear”) also co-directed Pure Comedy: The Film. Pure Comedy is a gorgeously rendered black & white document of the live tracking, as well as a surreal look into Tillman’s writing process. A six person crew, complete with cranes in the tracking rooms, captured every moment of the recording, giving the viewer intimate audience to actual album takes, including the one and only 2:00am performance of the 13-minute “Leaving LA.” It also features the only known recording of Tillman’s love ballad to his sound engineer Trevor Spencer. The 30 minute film can be watched below.
With his Glastonbury performance less than two weeks away, FATHER JOHN MISTY today unveils the video for ‘I Love You, Honeybear’, the title track from his acclaimed album. Josh Tillman says of the visual: “Here’s the video for “I Love You, Honeybear” starring Brett Gelman and Susan Traylor. It’s a portrayal of an average night in the lives of two EMTs.” The storyline was written by Josh and Emma Tillman, and helmed by Josh and returning director Grant James (This Is Sally Hatchet and Fun Times In Babylon)
It was a rather good one last night with many of us of a certain age seeing our childhood hero Paul Weller in fine form. Impressive. Garage soul kid Curtis Harding was excellent as well. Yet for Shindig! LA’s finest singer-songwriter and all round charismatic dude Father John Misty shone the most. Bella Union told us they flew him over especially. Worthwhile!
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A publication put together with genuine understanding, sincerity and utter belief. We seek to end mediocrity in music magazines... to bring the scope and knowledge of old fanzines and specialist rock titles to a larger readership: quality journalism, columns, music and film history; exciting new bands and culture. From the most far-out ’60s sounds through country-rock and folk to soul and electronic experimentation. It's all there.
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