Father John Misty performs a handful of new songs from his upcoming LP Pure Comedy while Los Angeles burns in a new 25-minute short film.
The black-and-white piece, also called Pure Comedy, is a characteristically bizarre combination of a making-of documentary and a wacked-out art film. While buildings across L.A. smolder, Father John Misty mastermind Josh Tillman toils in the studio, paints shirtless and, in a final moment, climbs into the back of a hearse. “I set up for love and broke my toe on possession,” Tillman says early on. “I set up for truth and was bent to the shape of knowing. I set up for music and busted my knees on fucking entertainment.”
Throughout the film, Tillman teases snippets of several Pure Comedy tracks, which range from steady folk-rock tunes to epic orchestral ballads. These fleshed out performances are mixed with isolated studio moments like Tillman directing a small choir, recording a howling vocal run and penning lyrics and playing piano in a bathrobe – a possible nod to Harry Nilsson. Eventually, the short is intercut with some of the surreal animation featured in the music video for “Pure Comedy” – released Monday – and goes on to deconstruct the recording of that song.
Father John Misty will release Pure Comedy April 7th via Sub Pop. The 75-minute double LP follows 2015’s I Love You, Honeybear and features arrangements from composer Gavin Bryars and contributions from Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett.
Pure Comedy is available to pre-order and features four different cover variations, all illustrated by Ed Steed. The deluxe edition will also come with aluminum and copper-colored vinyl, plus a die-cut customizable jacket with four interactive sleeves. A limited number of both the standard and deluxe vinyl editions will be shipped with a bonus seven-inch single “Real Love Baby” b/w “Rejected Generic Pop Song, March ’15 #3.”
Pure Comedy Track List
1. “Pure Comedy”
2. “Total Entertainment Forever”
3. “Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution”
4. “Ballad of the Dying Man”
6. “Leaving LA”
7. “A Bigger Paper Bag”
8. “When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay”
10. “Two Wildly Different Perspectives”
11. “The Memo”
12. “So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain”
13. “In Twenty Years or So”