After announcing it through a cryptic, spoken-word vinyl last month, Father John Misty has officially lifted the lid on his forthcoming fifth album, ‘Chloë And The Next 20th Century’. He’s also announced details of a special London show at The Barbican in April.
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The indie-rock stalwart (real name Josh Tillman) detailed his new record alongside the release of its lead single, ‘Funny Girl’. It’s a distinguished, sepia-toned ballad that sees Tillman gush with infatuation over an actress in her prime, soaring over a palette of tender keys, swelling strings and operatic horns.
Opening the track, Tillman croons: “Funny girl / You look so unassuming / Right up until / The room you’re captivating / Starts to fill with gut-busting laughter / And you’re transformed into a five foot Cleopatra.”
The track arrives with a video helmed by Nicholas Ashe Bateman, who tells the story of a CGI jellyfish (which according to a teaser shared overnight, plays the role of Tillman himself) that swims – or, rather, flies – through a soundstage dressed to look like a quaint countryside and forest setting.
Take a look at the ‘Funny Girl’ video below:
Landing as the follow-up to the 2018 album ‘God’s Favourite Customer’, ‘Chloë And The Next 20th Century’ is slated for release on April 8 via Sub Pop and Bella Union. It’ll be available physically on vinyl, CD and cassette, as well as a limited deluxe edition housed inside a hardcover book, sporting exclusive artwork, a poster and two bonus seven-inch records.
Each of those of those records will see one of Tillman’s colleagues cover a song from ‘Chloë And The Next 20th Century’. Lana Del Rey put her spin on the track ‘Buddy’s Rendezvous’ for one, while the other sees Jack Cruz tackle ‘Kiss Me (I Loved You)’.
The album was produced by Jonathan Wilson, with whom Tillman has worked since his full-length debut as Father John Misty, 2012’s ‘Fear Fun’. It was mixed by Dave Cerminara, and features arrangements from Drew Erickson.
Check out the cover art, deluxe edition and tracklisting for ‘Chloë And The Next 20th Century’ below:
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
He’s also announced details of a special orchestral London show at The Barbican in April. Visit here for details.
Tillman last made waves in August of 2020 with the standalone tracks ‘To S.’ and ‘To R.’ (both of which came as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club). He kept relatively quiet in the months since, bar his first few live shows since 2019 – a solo appearance at last year’s Sound Summit festival, then two back-to-back headliners on the Californian coast.
2020 also came with a surprise live album, ‘Off-Key In Hamburg’, which NME gave a four-star review. In her write-up, Leonie Cooper called it “a sumptuous reminder of those big budget blow-out shows that will happen again one day, but not any time soon”. All proceeds from that release were donated to MusiCares’ COVID-19 relief fund.
Later in the year, Tillman released a four-track EP titled ‘Anthem + 3’. Comprised of two Leonard Cohen covers, plus takes on Link Wray’s ‘Fallin’ Rain’ and Yusuf’s ‘Trouble’, the EP served as another avenue for Tillman’s philanthropy; upon its initial release on his BandCamp page, the singer-songwriter funnelled its profits into charities CARE Action and Ground Game LA.
Between 2018 and 2020, Tillman debuted at least four unreleased songs during live sets. One, debuted in December of ’18, saw him repeating the phrase “all God’s Country” in the chorus. Another featured sax and synths, with Tillman singing over them: “I guess time just makes fools of us all.” Soon thereafter came his unused song from A Star Is Born and the soaring ‘Tell It Like It Is’.