Father John Misty – “To S.” & “To R.”

Father John Misty – “To S.” & “To R.”

A little over two years ago, Josh Tillman released his latest Father John Misty album, the great God’s Favorite Customer. His fourth in six years, it seemed to mark a new reckoning at the same time that it provided a denouement to the arc sketched through his career and music thus far. Perhaps fittingly, he’s been quiet for a while since — eschewing interviews, and waiting a bit longer to unveil the next chapter of FJM. Along the way, there have been little snippets and goings-on: He debuted two new songs onstage last year, and earlier this year he offered up a live album and a Leonard Cohen cover. But he hasn’t released a new recording of an original FJM track since God’s Favorite Customer — until today, that is.

Now, suddenly, Tillman is back with a pair of new songs. Beyond the fact that they’re coming out together, they seem related given the fact that one is titled “To S.” and the other is called “To R.” They mark Tillman’s contribution to Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 5. Both were recorded in Los Angeles, with production from Dave Cerminara and the Haxan Cloak.

Both songs exist firmly on the mellower side of Tillman’s songwriting. “To S.” is a ballad that one could’ve easily seen Tillman restricting to piano and acoustic guitar. Instead, it’s coated in these otherworldly, lachrymose string arrangements, giving the whole thing more of a floating quality. “To R.” is a bit more grounded, with a calm drumbeat pushing it along, becoming a piano-based meditation with slightly less haunting orchestration. Check them out below.

“To S.” b/w “To R.” is out now via Sub Pop.

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