21/02/2024

Jess Casebeer’s Top 10 Pacific Northwest Albums of 2015

 

3. Father John Misty
I Love You, Honeybear
Sub Pop

It’s kinda funny to think that in just three years, Father John Misty has gone from a pretty well-respected cult alt-country/Americana solo musician to the indie scene’s favorite witty, bearded indie folk belter. I Love You, Honeybear is the sort of record that sticks in your mind from the first listen alone, and just gets more and more fantastic from there. Instrumentally, the record feels incredibly lavish and classy, with the sort of layered folk instrumentation you would expect from a Fleet Foxes record, although Honeybear feels more kept to itself.

The main selling point of this record, though, is J. Tillman’s vocals and his lyrics, which are incredibly sharp, clever, and chock full of more charm and charisma than most scrawny, quasi-quirky indie rock frontmen could ever hope to achieve. Despite a lot of the lyrics on here being genuinely funny and biting, the album never comes close to the realm of being too ridiculous to take seriously, and there are a lot of songs that conjure deep emotions in me, especially the more sentimental love songs on this album.

The songs on Honeybear are passionate, they’re insightful, and they cover a wide range of topics, from love on the rocks to marriage to the story of a girl almost dying at Tillman’s house. My favorite cut on Honeybear is easily “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.,” which is one amazing quotable after another, set to a twangy Americana-esque accompaniment.

There are a couple songs here and there that do stick out, and not for good reason, like “True Affection,” which cleverly makes use of a synthetic indietronica arrangement to sell the lyrical theme about trying to woo someone over the Internet, but the instrumentation itself is a bit limp and forgettable. Despite that, I Love You, Honeybear is nothing short of excellent, and makes my mouth water at the thought of a new FJM album in the future.

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