Nobody does tongue-in-cheek snark quite like Josh Tillman. It starts with his stage name, Father John Misty, which everyone can agree is so ridiculous it’s funny. His live show is 100% camp, strutting around the stage like an over-acted lounge singer, full of swoon-inducing goading and exaggerated emotion. And then there’s his songs. Musically, they’re fairly straightforward indie-folk-rock standards. But once you start hearing the lyrics, the snark comes out. He has a general hatred for anything and everything around him. He doesn’t pull any punches, and that’s a lot of the reason why I like him so much.
For instance, yesterday, with Ryan Adams’s attention-grabbing release of his cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989, Tillman took Adams to task, releasing a couple of covers of Taylor Swift himself, billed as covers of Ryan Adams’s covers, but resembling nothing of the Ryan Adams versions, and everything of what it would sound like if Lou Reed had covered Taylor Swift. Confused yet? You can listen here, even though Tillman himself has removed his covers from where he originally posted them.
Now that you‘ve got the back story, listen to the song above, “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment,” from Tillman’s February 2015 album I Love You, Honeybear. The album is pretty great all around, as good as 2012’s Fear Fun. The lyrices of this song are particularly snarky, and my favorite line on the entire album comes 30 seconds into the song, when Tillman sings
She says, like literally, music is the air she breathes
And the malaprops make me want to fucking scream
I wonder if she even knows what that word means
Well, it's literally not that
The of the song is full of gems just like that. Give it a listen, then buy the album. You won’t regret it.