Day 7: Father john Misty – I Love You, Honey Bear
Welcome to Day 7 of Chris’ 31 Days of Music. With just a handful of days left on 2015’s countdown Father John Misty joins the countdown with his record I Love You Honey Bear.
Josh Tillman introduced us to Father John Misty a few years back with one of the best albums of 2012. Tillman’s haunting vocals rode a wave of soothing melodies mesmerizing listeners with songs that reached deep into his soul. With Fear Fun and the score for the History of Caves (as Josh Tillman) in his rearview mirror, Tillman engaged in a short hiatus taking the time to write, record and do whatever the hell else Father John Misty does with his time.
With the time just right to unveil new music from his album – I Love You, Honeybear – he returned in a big way with a performance on Late Night with David Letterman unleashing a song about the disillusionment of the ‘American Dream’. While many laughed and chortled as he sang about sub-prime loans, over use of prescription meds and college education they failed to realize that “Bored in the USA” was a biting look at today’s society. The rest of the songs jump around like kernels in a hot popper as Father John Misty sings about love, personal inadequacies and the possible end of civilization as we know it. The song “Ideal Husband” sees a man facing his past. Filled with regrets, bad decisions and mediocrity he wants his wife to fully understand the person she is married to. It is a brutally honest track about accepting the person you love, warts and all. Although by name you would not think it, “Holy Shit” is a beautiful song. This song showcases Father John Misty’s vocals as they are framed by an acoustic guitar as listeners get lost in his words about the world’s sins. Lyrics about casual sex, genocide and atomic bombs find their way throughout the sparse track that builds toward the end as a layer of strings adds another dimension to the song. Love and relationships find their way onto more than one song in some form or another but none do it as well as the songs “When You’re Smiling and Astride Me” and “I Went to the Store One Day”. The first is a soulful song about being in a relationship and being frightened as feelings like anxiety and doubt join happiness and content when they are together. The second song is about a couple building a relationship. It is a somber look at falling in love and creating a shared life together. Father John Misty is at his best on the sarcastic “When Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment”. Lines like “she says like literally music is the air she breathes / and the malapropos make me want to fucking scream” litter the song as he expresses anger, despair and a lack of patience towards other people. One last song I want to touch on is “I Love You, Honeybear”, a song about Father John Misty’s devotion to his wife. With the world on a fast track to hell he doesn’t want to make the trip with anyone but her.
Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear is a record that is extremely difficult to stop listening to. Witty lyrics with a hint of sarcasm navigate a bold sounscape as a well of disappointment, anger and concern bubble below the surface. After listening to it once you will want to play it again and again to dissect the intricacies of each song. Father John Misty knows how to write songs that not only grab the listener’s ears but stick around for a bit. The songs on I Love You, Honeybear are timeless and will sound just as good in 30 years as they do today. Go do yourself a favor and give it a listen.
31 Days of Music
Day 7 – Father John Misty – I Love You, Honey Bear
Day 8 – Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free
Day 9 – Quaildogs – The Getting Old Factory
Day 10 – Blackfoot Gypsies – Handle It
Day 11 – Sydney Eloise & the Palms – Faces
Day 12 – Cedric Burnside Project – Descendants of Hill Country
Day 13 – Bohannons – Black Cross, Black Shield
Day 14 – Feral – Automatic Biters
Day 15 – Futurebirds – Hotel Parties
Day 16 – Ike Reilly – Born on Fire
Day 17 – Blue Blood – This Is The Life
Day 18 – Patrick Sweany – Daytime Turned to Nighttime
Day 19 – Mark Utley’s Bulletville – Bulletville
Day 20 – Porter – This Red Mountain
Day 21 – Left Lane Cruiser – Dirty Spliff Blues
Day 22 – Leon – Bridges
Day 23 – Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Ruffian’s Misfortune
Day 24 – Kent Goolsby & the Gold Standard – No Substitute for Handsome
Day 25 – Tedo Stone – Marshes
Day 26 – The Mountain Goats – Beat the Champ
Day 27 – American Aquarium – Wolves
Day 28 – Strange Majik – Lights On
Day 29 – Banditos – Banditos
Day 30 – The Juliana Hatfield Three – Whatever, My Love
Day 31 – Barrence Whitfield & the Savages – Under the Savage Sky