Father John Misty Releases Very Political New Single/Video, "Pure Comedy"

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Last time Father John Misty released an album, it ended up being our favorite of the year. He’s also been one of our top live acts for two years running. So, you can imagine that we at Paste are more than just a little excited for his next album, which is reportedly finished, though no official announcement has been made.

Today, we get our first taste. For those who think musicians should keep their politics separate, first of all, you’re wrong, but second of all, stay away—Josh Tillman is diving in headfirst on his new six-minute single, “Pure Comedy.” The song was previously debuted at a benefit show in Seattle last month.

Unpacking this one is a little daunting, especially when you factor in the video that Tillman has provided to accompany the song, so we’ll just begin by listing a few things you’re going to see after clicking play: natural disasters, some pretty upsetting cartoons, even more upsetting footage from the inauguration, Pepe the frog, and YouTube footage of Tillman’s own well-publicized on-stage “rant” from last summer.

Lyrically, the song begins with describing the tragic “comedy of man” and slowly following that thread to a vicious, direct attack against the ideology doing its best to combat progress. There is no attempt to bridge the gap, as Tillman realizes that time’s run out for that, and diagnoses the disease before raising his axe.

Here are a few choice lines:

“Just waiting ‘til 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.”

“These mammals are hell-bent on fashioning new gods so they can go on being godless animals.”

“How’s this for irony? Their idea of being free is a prison of beliefs that they never ever have to leave.”

Will this be the most straightforward protest album of 2017? We sure hope so. Put the video above on full screen, and pay attention to every word and every image—we don’t think you’ll regret it. Also, check out Father John Misty’s 2012 Daytrotter set below via the Paste Cloud.

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