Song of the Day: Father John Misty - Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins)

Capitol Hill Block Party, Local Music, Song of the Day
06/02/2015
Jacob Webb
photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. This week, we’ll be featuring songs by local artists playing the 2015 Capitol Hill Block Party. Today’s song is “Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins)” by Father John Misty (who was just announced today!) from his 2015 album, I Love You, Honeybear, on Sub Pop.

Father John Misty - Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins) (MP3)

After jettisoning a long-running moniker and his membership in one of indie rock’s biggest bands, Josh Tillman emerged from a desert acid trip as the hip swinging, stunningly incisive troubadour Father John Misty. Originally recording stark folk music under the moniker J. Tillman, Tillman found a bigger audience as the drummer for Fleet Foxes, with whom he toured and recorded with for four years. Citing burnout and general unhappiness, Tillman left Fleet Foxes after a Japanese tour in early 2012 and retreated to California with producer Jonathan Wilson, writing a solo record that ended up being a sharp left turn from his previous work in any project. Sonically indebted to ’70s country rock and packed with hilarious, endlessly quotable lyrics, his 2012 debut Fear Fun was a critical sleeper hit and his extensive touring behind the album established Tillman as one of the live circuit’s most exhilarating performers. After an acoustic tour previewing new material and soundtracking his wife’s movie The History of Caves, Tillman announced his second album as Father John Misty, this year’s I Love You, Honeybear. (Read our full review of the excellent, year-end list frontrunner here.) Although its title implies a possible reference to a Leonard Cohen song, a classical musical piece, or a John Lennon/Yoko Ono album, "Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins)" bears little resemblence to any of those things. Rather, it's one of Tillman's most straightforward love songs. Of course, even Tillman's simplest arrangements are filled with clever lyrical turns and unexpected stylistic elements, and on "Chateau Lobby" the latter role is filled by a mariachi band. As for the lyrics, they're some of his most affecting and humorous. ("I haven’t hated all the same things as somebody else since I remember", "You left a note in your perfect script/"Stay as long as you want/I haven’t left your bed since".) There are plenty of love letters on I Love You, Honeybear, but none are as direct, catchy, or quintessentially Father John Misty as "Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins)".

After his appearance at the Capitol Hill Block Party, Father John Misty will continue touring I Love You, Honeybear through the rest of the year. Keep up with him at his website, Facebook, and inimitable Twitter feed, and watch the video for "Chateau Lobby #4 (In C for Two Virgins)" below.

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