Father John Misty Soundtracks LA Tourism Commercial

Father John Misty’s excellent new album Pure Comedy climaxes with “Leaving LA,” a 13-minute meditation on, among other things, Josh Tillman’s decision to move out of the city of Los Angeles. Sample lyric: “It’ll be good to get more space / God knows what all these suckers paid.” Another sample lyric: “Leave under the gaze of the billboard queens / Five-foot chicks with parted lips selling sweatshop jeans.” Judging by a song like that, the Mist’s relationship with Los Angeles is, at the very least, conflicted. But Los Angeles doesn’t feel that way about the Mist. And as Billboard reports, a new Discover LA tourism campaign is using a Father John Misty song to promote tourism.

The new #EveryoneIsWelcome tourist ad, which uses CGI paper airplanes to highlight LA’s diversity, is set to “Real Love Baby,” a non-album track that the Mist (I swear to God I’m going to get that one to catch on) released in 2016. Talking to Billboard, Jeremy Bacharach, group creative director for Discover Los Angeles, says, “When conceptualizing the spot, it was important for us to work with a local artist who is as passionate about our great city as we are, and Father John Misty’s ‘Real Love Baby’ was a perfect choice to set the tone and vibe for our film. The song just has an upbeat, positive, sunny California feel that reflects our message and our city. When we started creating the film, I had vintage Beach Boys in my mind — and ‘Real Love Baby’ is a subtle, contemporized nod to that sound.”

Here’s the ad:

Bacharach claims that Tillman “believed in the message celebrating LA’s diversity and inclusivity, and extending a warm welcome to everyone around the world.” This, it would seem, is a more noble cause than burrito money.