American indie rock and folk artist Father John Misty is continuing to excite audiences for the upcoming release of his album Pure Comedy, this time with the track and video release of second single The Ballad of the Dying Man. The artist spent most of 2015 recording this album in the famous United Studios (formerly know as Ocean Way Studios favoured by Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys) and after listening to the lyricised blatant thoughts that artists don’t talk about, contrasted with the warmth instrumentation in The Ballad of the Dying Man, proves this dedication was not wasted.
Joshua Tillman, a quiet versatile, veteran of the music industry has played with numerous bands but is known most notably as the drummer from Fleet Foxes. Additionally, Tillman has been a successful solo artist which is why it is no surprise in 2012 the artist took on the alias of Father John Misty. Father John Misty was introduced to the music world with first album Fear Fun.
Following up I Love You, Honeybear, the acclaimed second album from Father John Misty is Pure Comedy which teased fans with the title track late last month, but more so with the release of the short film. Pure Comedy illustrates the creation of the album, but uniquely adds a surreal art theme with Father John Misty written all over it. In addition to Pure Comedy (which is due to be released on the 7th of April), Father John Misty has kept busy lending his talents to The Avalanches track Saturday Night Inside Out, and the release of single Real Baby Love. Under Joshua Tillman the versatility of this artist is verified with credits to Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
Pure Comedy showcases Tillman as a co – producer (with long-time producer Jonathan Wilson), mixer (along with Wilson and Trevor Spencer) and boasts the artist recording all the basic tracking and vocals live to tape, in no more than two takes each. This week the video for The Ballad of the Dying Man, was released and ensures consistency, after interest was sparked with both the single and short film for Pure Comedy.
The Ballad of the Dying Man, does not quite have the melancholy that Pure Comedy emits, contrasting the lyrics of the darkness of death and displaying musically how the album despite the themes is darkly comedic and not all dim. The gorgeous piano opening is a pleasure to hear after listening to the generic piano chord crunch that has been constantly overused and was repeated in Pure Comedy. Tillman’s falsetto accompanied by the choir harmonies add to the ambience and atmosphere of this song, not just completing the instrumental build up, but encapsulating the processional sound that symbolises the journey from death into the afterlife. The poetry in this song is no surprise to anyone who has listened to Father John Misty before, yet this track offers an interesting and even optimistic take on death, similar to that of Monty Python, as it captures the thoughts that are obviously in the back of an artist’s mind.