A Year In December is a series of notes in which I talk about a song a day until the end of the year, limiting myself to one paragraph. They will be songs that have been part of my aural life this year so most of them are relatively new releases. Today, I talk about something by Father John Misty.
There was a time when Joshua Tillman played drums for Fleet Foxes, a relatively anonymous role. On the side, he released songs under the moniker J. Tillman, songs that a mellower me enjoyed in mellower times. Then, he went off and did Fear Fun, a postmodern rollicking trip into his brain. He was an indie darling who could write a damn good song, ones that people would scream out the lyrics to in venues he wanted to hush. He had ‘Well, You Can Do It Without Me,’ one of the wittiest songs I know. And then he went off to become different Joshua Tillmans, playing characters or caricatures that I wasn’t necessarily keen to relate with. Pure Comedy lost me and so does this year’s God’s Favorite Customer. It’s not a bad album per se. I’ve just moved on, and so has the artist. That said, there is still ‘The Palace,’ where he rhymes ‘front desk’ with ‘edits’ and it makes me smile. He ponders getting a pet and calling it Jeff. Then, that refrain, “I’m in over my head.” Bar the piano it’s so quiet that I think I might even hear raindrops outside the studio, which is impossible, but there’s something going on there. In the song, in Tillman’s head, in mine.