Father John Misty dabbles in writing for pop stars from time to time. He famously contributed to Beyoncé’s Lemonade hit “Hold Up” and a pair of songs on Lady Gaga’s Joanne, and it sounds like his latest venture into the field is a track on the imminent new album from Khalid.
The young pan-genre pop star from El Paso is releasing Free Spirit, his second album, this Friday. He’s promoting it with a couple pop-up broadcasts on Beats 1, Apple Music’s online radio station. The album’s lead single, “Talk,” was produced by Disclosure, and on tomorrow’s installment of Free Spirit Radio, Khalid will reveal another track on the album was penned by none other than Josh Tillman.
“Heaven” is one of many maudlin ballads on the album, but its particular form of maudlin balladry stands out. It’s a piano-led number that, come to think of it, sounds a lot like something off God’s Favorite Customer. Speaking with Zane Lowe, Khalid says he hears echoes of Tillman’s voice in “Heaven” as well:
Father John Misty wrote “Heaven,” and that’s the song he played to me with the Cinderella moment, right? Talking to him about that song, that’s a song that he loved a lot and he felt like it was so fitting for me. I did too. I feel like when I sing that song, I can almost hear him on the record as well.
I would never pass on singing a Father John Misty song and putting that on my album ever. If Father John Misty is like, “Yo, here, look here’s this song, you want to sing it?” I’m like, “Hell yeah I want to sing that” … One, he inspires me so much, so I feel like his voice, or my voice at least, is not too far off from his, because that’s a voice that I grew up with, and I sat with, and I lived with. I love that I got to take a song that he wrote and interpret it in the way that it makes me feel. I love that when I listen to it, I hear him on it. For me, that’s a present, that’s a gift. How many people do you know out there who can say that they’ve sang a song that Father John Misty has wrote? The fact that he looks to me and he’s like, “You’re going to do this song justice, and you’re going to sing this song the way that it should be sang.” Amazing.
Free Spirit is out 4/5 on RCA, and this episode of Free Spirit Radio airs Thursday at Noon ET.