Father John Misty’s ‘Generic Pop Songs’ Are Still Better Than Most Of What You’ll Hear This Year

Managing Editor, Music

Guy Lowndes

Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, aka one of the most interesting musicians in our current era, has shared a couple of tracks that he’s labeled “Generic Pop Songs.” While they may be just that in some ways, the music is actually more interesting than half the generic pop I consume and love on a day-to-day basis.

Tillman is an interesting person to be making “indie rock” that’s veering toward the mainstream because of his background; he grew up in a deeply Conservative and religious community that continually impressed upon him the importance of following the rules, and adhering to God’s will for his life. Particularly “Generic Pop Song 3” below seems to hint at some of those themes.

After cutting ties with that upbringing — and releasing several albums of earnest, unnoticed folk rock — he constructed the Father John Misty persona, partially as a vehicle for his philosophical ideas about existence. Leaving behind the community and beliefs of your childhood can have a jolting effect on people, and it certainly had that on Misty.

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