Father John Misty rails against religious and political hypocrisy on his expansive new single, “Pure Comedy.” The simmering piano ballad swells into a jazzy, orchestral pop epic, as singer-songwriter Josh Tillman delivers lyrical daggers in a soft melodic croon: “Now that’s what I call pure comedy,” he sings. “Just wait until the part where they start to believe they’re at the center of everything and some all-powerful being endowed this horror show with meaning.”
Tillman pairs the song with an eye-popping, surrealist video. Director Matthew Daniel Siskin combines macabre animation with a dizzying array of images including swimming sperm, Internet meme Pepe the Frog, Kanye West, Barack Obama, wrestler John Cena, cuddly kittens and church congregations. Notably, he also incorporates some footage of newly elected President Donald Trump, as Tillman asks, “Where did they find these goons they elected to rule them?/ What makes these clowns they idolize so remarkable?”
Tillman debuted the song last month at a benefit concert for Seattle Children’s Hospital. As Stereogum reports, a cached merchandise page on the Father John Misty website features now-removed pre-order listing for an album titled “Pure Comedy,” set to “ship” on March 31st. A rep for the singer did not immediately respond to a request for comment confirming the album’s release date.
Tillman also referenced his post-election distress with the new, bummed-out ballad “Holy Hell,” which he released in November. The third Father John Misty album will follow 2015’s I Love You, Honeybear.