Mr Tillman – Father John Misty

The arch hipsters holy father has gone beyond self parody now. He’s become so meta his alter ego can write scathing lounge pop about his real life self checking out of a swanky hotel.

This ought to be loathsome by rights. And yet it’s irony dripping honeyed melodies are beguiling and the gentle piano refrain seem the perfect foil for the almost breathless list of paranoia inducing Schadenfreude presented as service with a thin smile.

“Mr Tillman good to see you again there’s a few outstanding charges before we check you in”

This opening lyric is a master stroke. As someone who has woken up groggy in a hotel out of my price range on several occasions (work perks only seem like perks the night before) that moment at the reception counter where the measure of last night comes through with the cost of the room can be a terrible white out moment.

“Let’s see here, you left your passport in the mini fridge and the message with the desk says here the picture isn’t his and oh, just a reminder about our policy: Don’t leave your mattress in the rain if you sleep on the balcony, Okay, did you and your guests have a pleasant stay? And what a beautiful tattoo that young man had on his face”

That’s just the first verse. Father John goes on to name drop and humble brag that Jason Isbell is worried about him. Also he’ll identify that he has paranoia so grand he imagines a film shoot in the lobby where everyone he meets is speaking scripted lines.

Lyrically referring to himself as the third and fourth person, everything the obliging concierge says is delivered with a judgmental withering simper.

“Would you like a regalo on the patio? Is there someone we can call? Perhaps you shouldn’t drink alone”

Father John Misty has gone through the looking glass, and thanks to his VIP lifestyle they’ve wiped his prints from it before he’s back out the other side.

2 thoughts on “Mr Tillman – Father John Misty

  1. Straight up fantastic is my introduction to Father John Misty. I’m afraid I can’t become a full-time fan however, because everyone would be pissed that I didn’t leave any reefer for anyone else. This dude doesn’t just make you imagine a warm and breezy island in your mind; he shoves the whole thing in there. And then there’s your post; that second paragraph is simply the best paragraph of prose I’ve encountered in a while. It’s such an impressive collection of words that it doesn’t even need the context of the whole piece to stand out. Cherish it, my friend; that doesn’t happen often for any of us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So glad you and your prime writing skills took a crack at this one. Already one of my new favourites. Anything that effortlessly blends a massive alter ego with crippling self-deprecation and some horrifically dry, smarmy callbacks to my days in customer service deserves a top spot on my “Walking to Class” playlist. And ending up in a mass of students while having this filtering through my ears somehow makes it even more surreal-and better.

    Liked by 1 person

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