By Andrew Hunter
I Love You Honeybear
I’m not going to pretend to have listened to lots of J. Tillman’s original solo stuff, and I never really got into Fleet Foxes which he drummed pre Father John Misty, which is the moniker that Josh Tillman has dubbed himself for the last two albums since he left Fleet Foxes. I don’t even know how I got into Father John Misty, it might just have been the name that was enough to grip me. The name Father John Misty sounds like the name of a cult leader, preaching in a really dapper suit. Maybe it was the album art work, which is quite surreal to look at, what is going on there? Maybe it was all the coverage he got when he allegedly met Marilyn Manson…
“I had this full grown-out beard, and Marilyn Manson said, ‘How long have you been a lumberjack?'” Tillman recalls. “He was wearing sideswept bangs and this pea-coat thing. I said, ‘How long have you been in the gay Navy?'”
Maybe it was just the first time I heard the title track “I Love You Honeybear” that I fully succumbed to Father John Misty. Whatever it was I’m now fully indoctrinated. It’s hard to fully pinpoint the feel of this album, it can have a country feel, a singer songwriter feel, in places it sounds like it’s almost paying homage to Neil Young or Bob Dylan. I Love You Honeybear is a self-aware, smart album, where you feel like you may or may not be in on it how much is true, and how much is make believe, how much is J. Tillman and how much is Father John Misty. The album deals with falling in love and the consequences of falling in love, religion, god, drugs and America. There is so much humour within this album. There’s a craftsmanship, lyrically-words that feel like they can’t or shouldn’t be there are impressively inserted within songs. It’s a complete journey with a narrative to follow and get lost in throughout, I would say it kinda reminds me of John Grant in places with the words seeming very unrelated but come together to create something powerful and new with each listen. The more I delve into the album some songs can become highly relatable in a narcissistic way. The lyrics can sound almost like a confession, to parts of his life, diary like in parts- I Love You Honeybear is a strange personal voyage through Tilman’s life.
If nothing else you can now buy stuff with the words ‘mascara blood ash cum’ written on it .