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Father John Misty Details New Album “I Love You, Honeybear”, Performs “Bored In The USA” on “Letterman”

Josh Tillman just announced his sophomore record under the Father John Misty moniker; I Love You, Honeybear, out Feb. 10th on Subpop. Tillman also accentuated the announcement with a fantastic performance of album cut “Bored In The USA” on “Letterman”, and did so accompanied by a 22 piece string section.

Tillman adopted the Father John Misty persona after he “got into my van with enough mushrooms to choke a horse and started driving down the coast with nowhere to go. After a few weeks, I was writing a novel, which is where I finally found my narrative voice… It was a while before that voice started manifesting in a musical way.” Father John has proved to be the sort of far-out, existential type of guy you’d expect from such an origin story, and 2012’s Fear Fun was positively fantastic in its cunning strangeness.

The unique, heartfelt style of that album makes I Love You Honeybear one of 2015’s most anticipated early records, and “Bored in The USA” serves as a wonderful way to whet appetites. The large string section seems to be indicative of the overall “larger” vibe of the new record, as Misty says in his typically hyper-literate and funny press release (which you can check out after the video):

Father John Misty’s wonderful press release:

I Love You, Honeybear was recorded all through 2013 to 2014 in Los Angeles with producer Jonathan Wilson, who I also recorded and produced 2012’s Fairly Fun with. There’s a case to be made that it sounds and acts a bit like solo-era John Lennon, Scott Walker, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, and Dory Previn, while taking more than a few cues from Woody Allen, Kurt Vonnegut, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Muhammad Ali. It has a decidedly more soulful presence than Fear Fun, due in no small part to the fact that I am truly singing my ass off all over this motherfucker. The album is really characterized by the scope and ambition of the arrangements. Nearly every tune is augmented by something special, be it orchestral strings, a mariachi band, questionable electronic drum solos, ragtime jazz combos, soul singers, or what have you. I’m pretty sure there’s a sitar in there somewhere. Blammo.

I Love You, Honeybear is a concept album about a guy named Josh Tillman who spends quite a bit of time banging his head against walls, cultivating weak ties with strangers and generally avoiding intimacy at all costs. This all serves to fuel a version of himself that his self-loathing narcissism can deal with. We see him engaging in all manner of regrettable behavior.

“In a parking lot somewhere he meets Emma, who inspires in him a vision of a life wherein being truly seen is not synonymous with shame, but possibly true liberation and sublime, unfettered creativity. These ambitions are initially thwarted as jealousy, self-destruction and other charming human character traits emerge. Josh Tillman confesses as much all throughout.

“The album progresses, sometimes chronologically, sometimes not, between two polarities: the first of which is the belief that the best love can be is finding someone who is miserable in the same way you are and the end point being that love isn’t for anyone who isn’t interested in finding a companion to undertake total transformation with. I won’t give away the ending, but sex, violence, profanity and excavations of the male psyche abound.

“My ambition, aside from making an indulgent, soulful, and epic sound worthy of the subject matter, was to address the sensuality of fear, the terrifying force of love, the unutterable pleasures of true intimacy, and the destruction of emotional and intellectual prisons in my own voice. Blammo.

“This material demanded a new way of being made, and it took a lot of time before the process revealed itself. The massive, deranged shmaltz I heard in my head, and knew had to be the sound of this record, originated a few years ago while Emma and I were hallucinating in Joshua Tree; the same week I wrote the title track. I chased that sound for the entire year and half we were recording. The means by which it was achieved bore a striking resemblance to the travails, abandon and transformation of learning how to love and be loved; see and be seen. There: I said it. Blammo.”

Father John Misty I Love You, Honeybear Tracklisting:
1. I Love You, Honeybear
2. Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)
3. True Affection
4. The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.
5. When You’re Smiling and Astride Me
6. Nothing Good Ever Happens At the Goddamn Thirsty Crow
7. Strange Encounter
8. The Ideal Husband
9. Bored In The USA
10. Holy Shit
11. I Went To The Store One Day

“I’m Writing A Novel”

Tour Dates:
Jan. 16 – Felton, CA – Bret Harte Hall
Jan. 17 – Sonoma, CA – Vet’s Hall Ballroom
Jan. 18 – Chico, CA – El Rey Theatre
Feb. 09 – Los Angeles, CA – Roxy*
Feb. 12 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade NYC*
Feb. 14 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom*
Feb. 16 – Montreal, QC – Virgin Mobile Corona Theater*
Feb. 18 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall*
Feb. 21 – Dublin, IE – Whelans
Feb. 22 – Glasgow, UK – King Tuts
Feb. 23 – Manchester, UK – Gorilla
Feb. 26 – London, UK – Village Underground
Feb. 27 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
Feb. 28 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
Mar. 03 – Paris, FR – La Maroquinerie
Mar. 04 – Brussels, BE – Botanique – Orangerie
Mar. 05 – Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso
Mar. 07 – Berlin, DE – Privatclub
Mar. 08 – Hamburg, DE – Nochtspelcher
Mar. 25 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works**
Mar. 26 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse**
Mar. 27 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel**
Mar. 28 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club**
Mar. 31 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club**
Apr. 01 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer**
Apr. 03 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theater**
Apr. 04 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave**
Apr. 07 – Lawrence, KS – Granada**
Apr. 08 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room**
Apr. 09 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
Apr. 22 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater^
Apr. 23 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s^
Apr. 24 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s^
Apr. 25 – New Orleans, LA – Civic Theater^
* w/ Guy Blakeslee
** w/ King Tuff
^ w/ Luluc