Father John Misty Performs “Holy Shit” on “Stephen Colbert”

Last year, rock singer and pop culture troll Josh Tillman (aka Father John Misty) released I Love You, Honeybear, a rousing, enlightening record that became one of the best albums of 2015. More recently, Tillman performed “Holy Shit,” Honeybear‘s spellbinding penultimate track, on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in all his cool-guy glory. While the song is great itself, it’s Tillman’s performance that really cements him as one of the most creative, thought-provoking artists of our time. During the first two minutes, he hums softly about a variety of seemingly disparate topics — original sin, genetic fate, dead religions, loveless sex — until the backing band’s “Day in the Life” breakdown at 2:13 transforms the song into operatic, spine-chilling poetry. While the sounds of a choir, guitar riffs, and drums play harmoniously in the background, Tillman cries out the song’s core message of how love is just an “institution based on human frailty.” He moves with the speed and swagger of a hipster preacher and even if his deadpan personality may be irksome, Tillman’s true emotional power lies within the awesomeness of his lyrics, ideas, and music.

 

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