“For once your timing wasn’t great/I must have missed you by a day.” This is quite a statement coming from the guy who’s waited four years to give us another Father John Misty album. Somehow the world that Josh Tillman described in “Bored in the USA” has become even bleaker, and god only knows what we can expect from the songs he’s written in our absence. (One safe bet: Being off social media was probably a good thing. His “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” is currently trending on TikTok, which is the kind of thing he’d absolutely hate.)
Chloë and the Next 20th Century, his follow-up to 2018’s God’s Favorite Customer, arrives on April 8. Our first glimpse of it is “Funny Girl,” a lovely, languid gem that shows Tillman quietly reintroducing himself — with a little help from an orchestral arrangement that echoes old Hollywood. This element is also reflected in the video, which features a jellyfish as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, leaving her sepia-toned tornado town for Emerald City. It’s the ideal backdrop for a track that, in classic Misty fashion, leaves us quizzically charmed, as he dazzles with Harry Nilsson melodies while we watch some batshit footage of a cnidarian floating across the night sky. “But, baby, things have turned out pretty good this way,” he muses. “And I don’t think either of us yearn to share the stage.”
Chloë and the Next 20th Century features Tillman’s longtime pal Jonathan Wilson in the producer’s chair, and Lana Del Rey shows up to cover the new song “Buddy’s Rendezvous” for the limited edition. Tillman has only announced two shows so far — symphony performances in Los Angeles and London — but we’ll be clicking our heels three times to see him take Chloë on a full tour.
Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.
Chloë and the Next 20th Century Track List:
2. Goodbye Mr. Blue
3. Kiss Me (I Loved You)
4. (Everything But) Her Love
5. Buddy’s Rendezvous
7. Olvidado (Otro Momento)
8. Funny Girl
9. Only a Fool
10. We Could Be Strangers
11. The Next 20th Century