By this afternoon, I live in debt
By tomorrow, be replaced by children
Every once in a while a singer-songwriter will come along and completely shift my perspective on what pop music can be. I've spent the last couple of months starting a record collection, and in assembling my list of must-have records, I'll admit that I've gotten a little bit snobbish about what makes music "good". My sister has given me a lot of shit for my relentless search for every Beatles album - OK, I meant to say every Beatles album that has been remastered in Mono, because you can't really appreciate the Beatles unless you hear them the way they were intended to sound.... and oh God I've become a monster.
I spend a lot of time reading the internet, and this week there have been a couple of really good profiles on Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty. This is a case of good writing leading me to an artist. Tillman was never on my radar, but after diving into his newest album, I Love You, Honeybear, I have become a willing disciple of Father Misty. On Honeybear, Tillman pulls of the seemingly impossible. he sings about love in a way that does not seem totally banal or cliche. There's humor and postmodernism in the lyrics, but all of the songs come from a place of complete sincerity.
A funny thing happened recently. I fell completely and desperately in love with the woman of my dreams. It's been a completely transformative experience for me. One of the things that I've noticed is that all of life's events seem to be happening just outside the bubble that encompasses my girlfriend and I, and in a world that is ripe with the evils of ISIS, ignorance of anti-vaxxers and unbearableness of -30 windchill's, I have been more than happy to stay in that love bubble. It's warm and cozy, and the evils of the world can stay at bay. So when an artist comes out with an album that captures so many of the feelings that I'm still trying to articulate, it resonates in a way that other great albums can't.
There's a battle between trying to be the most clever guy in the room, while simultaneously wanting be taken seriously as an artist that comes across in Tillman's work. There is so much intelligence and heart in the songs on I Love You, Honeybear. It's the kind of album I would want to make if I had any musical talent whatsoever. Instead I'll just keep listening to the songs over and over, thinking about love and enjoying my bubble.