I addition to popping up on numerous "overlooked albums of 2016 lists," Big Thief is piggy-backing off the release of Masterpiece with a new album called Capacity. I really liked the tune "Paul" on Masterpiece, but this lead single from their new album became an instant favorite. Lead singer Adrianne Lenker also has some pretty wild tales to tell. Read on if you like cult stories.
Father John Misty
I thought I'd let the promotional dust settle before I posted anything from the new Father John Misty album. To play arm-chair music critic: Pure Comedy seems to amble through Tillman's stream-of-consciousness for 75 minutes. At times that vulnerability can sound gauche, but reflecting on the sociopolitical climate should probably sound scattershot.
What impresses me most about Tillman's writing on Pure Comedy is his ability to mull over the role of modern technology. It's more romantic to sing about writing letters, but that's not how people communicate in 2017. It's more popular to belt out an anthem against the establishment, but it's probably more important to ruminate the problems caused by a selfish, disengaged populous.
I admire FJM for taking risks, given his popularity. It's better for artists to occupy a "love it or hate it" territory, because lukewarm art is usually forgotten. In fact, it's more entertaining when the zeitgeist Tillman writes about responds to his music just how he predicted:
"The clickbait, it’s all about willful ignorance. I did this tune on 'SNL,' the first line is 'Bedding Taylor Swift every night inside the Oculus Rift,' and goes on to be a song commenting on [the media, and entertainment]. And then the headlines naturally are like, 'Area Homeless Man Fantasizes About Having Sex with Taylor Swift.' . . . It’s almost become so pedantic that I have to explain what music is, or what a metaphor is. It’s got a saxophone solo in it. How serious could it be?”
Excerpt from "When Father John Misty Met Patton Oswalt"