J. Tillman, better known by his moniker Father John Misty
, just released the appropriately-titled I Love You, Honeybear
, his second full-length release on Sub Pop
. And while it’s only Tillman’s second proper album as FJM, he seems to have grown leaps and bounds since 2012’s release, Fear Fun
Not necessarily growth from an artistic standpoint, but perhaps from a place of contentment in life, the overall theme of the album screams love and devotion with intermittent bouts of Tillman’s classic dark rumination. Having recently wed filmmaker Emma Elizabeth Tillman, the married life seems to suit him well. The new album, as a whole, certainly seems to pour straight from the heart – with the exception of “Bored in the USA”, a characteristic Tillman social commentary.
During his time as drummer for Seattle folk rock five-piece Fleet Foxes
(for a four-year span in the late ‘00s), Tillman honed his “sleepytime” indie folk roots. His initial release as FJM was well-received critically, with much of the material dark and introspective. I Love You, Honeybear
, however, has either found him at a place of change in life, or he’s doing his best to explore the entire range of the emotional spectrum on his first two albums. Either way, the upbeat dynamic to this album is a refreshing change, and certainly endears itself to the listener immediately.
“Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” in particular is a beautiful and very personal track, obviously written about his new bride. Ironically, however, title track “I Love You, Honeybear” isn’t nearly as romantic and sappy as the title leads on. “Oh honeybear, honeybear, honeybear / Mascara, blood, ash, and cum / On the Rorschach sheets where we make love”, Tillman sings on the track. Classic Tillman, keeping us on our toes.
Suggested watch + listen: “Chateau Lobby 4 (in C for Two Virgins)”