Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

A superb return from Josh Tillman...

Is it the crooner, the melancholy reflection, the intense stare or the fact he treats us all with such disdain that we love? Who knows, but Father John Misty’s back and we’re all weak at the knees.

This third album doesn’t stray too far from what we fell in love with on 2015’s ‘Honeybear' or 2012’s 'Fear Fun'. It’s a hybrid of angst and sarcasm and pure beauty. From the chaotic collage of noise opening ‘Pure Comedy’ we’re flung head first into a gorgeous ballad that teeters on the edge of uncomfortable and bliss, with moments of horror scene screeches bleeding into ‘70s sax.

You never know where you stand. Standard Tillman — somewhere between Cheers and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In the thirteen minutes of ‘Leaving LA’, he sings about sweat shops and white guys in a tragic modern tale, floating in romantic strings and little else, while the woozy ‘A Bigger Paper Bag’ is a throw back with vintage Rhodes and more self hatred. There are lyrics about bedding Taylor Swift and haunting choirs that send shivers down your spine — he’s a constant contradiction.

Misty keeps this album pretty genuine. There are jaunts and horns and dancing mixed with sorrow and piano and heartache; his lyrics cutting through any joy with wicked humour and his comic persona still second place to his incredible songwriting.


Words: Gemma Hampson

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