Later this spring, Father John Misty will release his massive, 78-minute new album Pure Comedy; he’s already shared the title track, “Two Wildly Different Perspectives,” and “Ballad Of The Dying Man.” Now, as Pitchfork points out, he recently appeared on BBC 6 Music host Lauren Laverne’s show and performed an acoustic version of the album’s 13-minute centerpiece “Leaving LA.” Speaking to Laverne, Josh Tillman, the man behind the Father John Misty character, said that he spent three years working on the song. It’s a biting, detached, self-deprecating look at hipster culture in Los Angeles, about all the things about it that will drive you nuts if you allow yourself to think about it. Below, listen to Tillman’s performance of the song and read a few things that he’s had to say about it.
Talking to Zane Lowe earlier this week, Tillman said this about the song:
“Leaving LA” I worked on for three years. One whole year was just the first line, which i would just sing over and over and over again and the song just would not grant me access… [The opening line] “I was living on the hill by the water tower and hiking trails.”
Lowe: Which was the opening frame of the movie as well.
There very same one. “And when the big one hit I’d have a seat to watch masters abandon their dogs and dogs ran free.” And I would just sing it over and over and over again. I couldn’t figure out
Lowe: Where it goes.
Yeah. Then I was like, “It should be a fifteen minute smash hit.” Once I realized what it was, it came together. But the state of mind I was in when I was writing this stuff was — I mean, I stopped drinking. I stopped smoking, I stopped doing drugs and eating meat. I went real venatic almost.
Pure Comedy is out 4/7 on Sub Pop.