Collective hearts here at Sub Pop HQ swell with pride today, as we’re thrilled to announce Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy – the highly anticipated follow-up to his internationally acclaimed album, I Love You, Honeybear – will hit store shelves the world over on Friday, April 7th.
Since 2012, Father John Misty aka Josh Tillman has unexpectedly emerged as a singular (if not undeniably, um, idiosyncratic) voice. Whether by virtue of his lyrics, which routinely defy the presumed polarities of wit and empathy; his live performances which may perhaps be described best as “intimately berzerk,” or the infuriating line he seems to occupy between canny and total fraud online or in interviews, Father John Misty has cultivated a rare space for himself in the musical landscape – that of a real enigma. Pure Comedy sees Tillman at the height of these powers: as a lyricist, and equally so a cultural observer – at times bordering on freakishly prescient. Tillman’s bent critiques, bared humanity and gently warped classic songwriting are all here in equal measure and – at 75 minutes – there’s a veritable fuck ton of it. The album navigates themes of progress, technology, fame, the environment, politics, aging, social media, human nature, human connection and his own role in it all with his usual candor, and in terms as timely as they are timeless.
Tillman wrote the majority of Pure Comedy throughout 2015 and recorded all the basic tracking and vocals live to tape (in no more than two takes each) at United Studios (fka the legendary Ocean Way Studios, favored by Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys) in Los Angeles March 2016. Album highlights include the title track alongside standouts “Leaving LA,” “Total Entertainment Forever,” “Ballad of the Dying Man,” “When The God Of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell To Pay” and “Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before The Revolution”.
Pure Comedy was co-produced once again by Josh Tillman and long-time producer Jonathan Wilson; mixed by Tillman, Wilson and Trevor Spencer, and mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios. The album features string, horn and choral arrangements from classical iconoclast Gavin Bryars (Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Sinking Of The Titanic), with additional contributions from Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett.
Pure Comedy’s front/back covers and gatefold feature a gargantuan original piece (his first ever commission of its kind) by Ed Steed (The New Yorker) and cover variations for the standard LP and CD will be randomly distributed.
- A Deluxe 2xLP version on aluminum & copper vinyl, a die-cut customizable jacket with 4 interactive “background” sleeves (so you can have whatever sky you damn well feel like as the cover), all encased in a clear slipcase. Includes a fold-out poster and an exclusive holographic tarot card by Ed Steed.
- A 2xLP gatefold version also available in 4 cover variations on black vinyl
- A CD gatefold digipak with slipcase available in 4 cover variations
TAKE NOTE: LP orders through Father John Misty’s Official Store, megamart.subpop.com, Bella Union and select independent retailers will receive a limited 7” single featuring the first physical release of fan favorite “Real Love Baby” on the A-side and the as yet unreleased track, “Rejected Generic Pop Song, March ‘15 #3” on the B-side (while supplies last). A new t-shirt design will be available from Sub Pop and Bella Union, in addition to a new line of merch from Father John Misty’s online store.
1. Pure Comedy
2. Total Entertainment Forever
3. Things it Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution
4. Ballad of the Dying Man
6. Leaving LA
7. A Bigger Paper Bag
8. When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay
10. Two Wildly Different Perspectives
11. The Memo
12. So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain
13. In Twenty Years or So
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: Tillman and Grant James (“Funtimes in Babylon,” “I Love You, Honeybear”) also co-directed Pure Comedy: The Film. Pure Comedy is a gorgeously rendered black & white document of the live tracking, as well as a surreal look into Tillman’s writing process. A six-person crew, complete with cranes in the tracking rooms, captured every moment of the recording, giving the viewer intimate audience to actual album takes, including the one and only 2:00am performance of the 13-minute “Leaving LA.” It also features the only known recording of Tillman’s love ballad to his sound engineer Trevor Spencer. The 30-minute film is available for viewing now at Father John Misty’s new website.
Father John Misty’s first live appearance in support of Pure Comedy will be on the Coachella mainstage, Fridays April 14th, and 21st.