Father John Misty’s New Album In 10 Memorable Lyrics

Father John Misty
God’s Favorite Customer is The Colorado Sound Album Of The Week
Lyrics Fit For A Book

Father John Misty can write a song lyric. His new album, God’s Favorite Customer, is our Album Of The Week. The album, his fourth studio release as Father John Misty, is coaxed in painful honesty. True, the artist known as Josh Tillman can frequently use a little TMI – 2015’s I Love You Honeybear is about as intimate an album about a husband and wife in memory. He can also be painstakingly cryptic – calling out Jason Isbell for no good reason on “Mr. Tillman” comes to mind. 

God’s Favorite Customer is also his most melodic release to date – the famed FJM expressions and aphorisms float by in a quick 38 minutes. On the album, he sings like a late-career John Lennon; Customer is easily his most hopeful vision to date.

One of the reasons Father John Misty is so popular is behind the shades, the recluse personality, the over-the-top grandiosity, he’s just searching for some answers. Well, aren’t we all?

Here are some of the most memorable lyrics from the new album that we think help explain Tillman’s world-view just a little better than we could.

“Hangout At The Gallows” 

Trouble sleeping
My alarm goes off
So you wanna hang out at the gallows?
Those guys get an early start

Classic Father John irony kicks off the album, cleverly referencing his famous insomnia to get things going, rather than winding down. Yes, he’s going to the gallows; he’s also overcoming some demons.

“Mr. Tillman”

I’m feeling good, damn, I’m feeling so fine
I’m living on a cloud above an island in my mind
Oh baby, don’t be alarmed this is just my vibe
No need to walk around, no it’s not too bad a climb

The isolation is almost too perfect to be believed; and its honesty is almost heartbreaking –  ego and lonesomeness together, looking down. That’s the Father John we know.

“Just Dumb Enough to Try”

I know my way ’round a tune
Won’t be a single dry eye in a room
But you can take what I know about you
And maybe fill a small balloon

This song is allegedly about his wife/muse Emma; it’s a confession to her; it’s almost an apology that he can be all hot air.

“The Palace”

It’s only been three weeks
And a bag of speed from Jamie the PhD
She comes by the front desk
To leave my transcript with her edits

Because… Jamie the PhD might be our new favorite Father John character. 

“The Palace”

Last night I wrote a poem
Man, I must have been in the poem zone

Father John Misty writes poetry to deal with his depression, alluding to the “poem zone” watermarks this as a song to come back to – he’s in his most honest frame of mind.

“Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All”

Like an oil tanker tipped at sea
This love’s contaminated me
Like a constant twitching in my eye
This love of ours will never die

Another song to Emma, confessing his love and all of its complications to her. 

“God’s Favorite Customer”

Speak to me
Won’t you speak, sweet angel?
Don’t you remember me?
I was God’s favorite customer

Josh Tillman was raised in an Evangelical household. This is a very personal confession – keeping God busy in the business of Mr. Tillman is quite a toll.

“God’s Favorite Customer”

Beware the man who has everything
Everything that he wants
You can spot him from a mile away
In his gold chain and only one pair of socks

FJM ruminates on society; calling out the Everything Generation. You can call it cynical, but he makes it hard to argue.

“The Songwriter”

What would it sound like if you were the songwriter
And you did your living around me?
Would you undress me repeatedly in public
To show how very noble and naked you can be?

Asking others – Emma perhaps? – to understand what it’s like to be him. At the end of the day, he’s a songwriter, and his truth is in the songs.

“We’re Only People (And There’s Not Much Anyone Can Do About That)”

Oh, friends, all my friends
Oh, I hope you’re somewhere smiling
Just know I think about you more kindly than you and I have ever been
And I’ll see you the next time around the bend

It’s tantalizing to think this is a Fleet Foxes reference; he was a drummer before becoming Father John. On this last song, he tries to make amends.

God’s Favorite Customer is all about redemption, so maybe. You can listen to the album below. 

Father John Misty will be playing Red Rocks August 15, with TV On The Radio. You can get tickets here.