Song of the Day: Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery

photo by Maximilla Lukacs

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” by Father John Misty from his album Fear Fun due out in May on SubPop.

Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery (MP3)

Today, we offer up a sneak peak at the new album by Josh Tillman (former drummer of the Fleet Foxes) who, after recording several solo albums under his own name (J. Tillman), is now known by the moniker Father John Misty. The change in names signifies a new beginning for Tillman who writes that he’s done making “wound-licking” music.

Songwriting for me had always only been interesting and necessary because I saw it as this vehicle for truth, but I had this realization that all I had really done with it was lick my wounds for years and years, and become more and more isolated from people and experiences. I don’t even like wound-licking music, I want to listen to someone rip their arm off and beat themselves with it. I don’t believe that until now I’ve ever put anything at risk in my music. I was hell-bent on putting my preciousness at stake in order to find something worth singing about.

The slow and steady beat of today’s song might not immediately sound like rip-your-arm-off-and-beat-yourself-with-it music, but there’s definitely a defiance in spirit behind the fuzzy guitars and haunting vocals. The dark, drug filled lyrics pour out of a voice that is part wounded/wounder. This track also notes a change in geography for this former Seattle native-turned Laurel Canyon resident as he writes about the famed Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the final resting ground for everyone from Hollywood’s founders to Johnny Ramone and Rudolph Valentino and current home to weird and awesome cultural events where they host everything from movies and comedy shows to live musical performances.

You can catch Señor Tillman at Neumos on May 7th as part of a national tour, and he’ll be live on KEXP that same day at 1PM. You can find more dates available on his SubPop artist page. In the meantime, here’s the video for today’s song “Hollywood Forever Cemetery”:

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