Song of the Day: Father John Misty - Bored In The USA

Local Music, Song of the Day
04/01/2015
Jacob Webb
photo by Beth Eisgrau-Heller

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. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Bored In The USA” by Father John Misty from the 2015 album I Love You, Honeybear on Sub Pop.

Father John Misty - Bored In The USA (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 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.) Tillman first previewed the album on Letterman with "Bored In The USA", a maudlin, "Send in the Clowns"-esque ballad that is equal parts sarcasm and sympathy. Accompanied by a stark piano line, a saccharine string section, and some canned laughter, Tillman laments the pressures of American culture from the perspective is someone who is not in anguish or crushed by anxiety but, in typical Tillman fashion, can just "kinda deal". "Bored In The USA" is the least romantically-focused track on the amorous LP, but it's a gem nonetheless, showcasing how Tillman is able to mine well-worn tropes and draw hilarious, drawing water from the stone regardless.

Father John Misty is currently on tour behind I Love You, Honeybear, and will make a stop in the Pacific Northwest in May, including an appearance at the 2015 Sasquatch Music Festival. Keep up with him at his website, Facebook, and inimitable Twitter feed. Below, watch him play an early version of I Love You, Honeybear's title track live in 2013.

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