20 for ’15 – Father John Misty – The Ideal Husband

Part 17 of a 20 part rundown of my favourite tracks of 2015

Father John Misty might be a bit too popular for this here blog. He made the top of many an AOTY list for 2015 after all and I’d be risking my reputation as a Pointless Contrarian if I were to start agreeing with people, especially Indie Tastemakers.

Lucky then that the record didn’t make a great deal of sense to me as a whole. Despite it’s attempts to puncture its own sense of smugness, going out of it’s way to show how knowing it is about it’s own sense of self-importance, I couldn’t help but feel that I Love You Honeybear was still a bit too pleased with itself for my liking. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but ultimately it felt like it was trying to have it’s unappetising looking cake and eat it. So I checked out.

Later I heard The Ideal Husband by chance during one of the three or four occasions I tuned into 6 Music throughout the year. It’s slightly ramshackle nature seemed kind of appealing all of a sudden and it’s lyrics seemed to strike the right note of both revelling and revulsion in the worst aspects of the male ego in a way that reminded me of Greg Dulli’s work, so I threw it on my current listening spotify playlist. It ended up being brought with me to St Ives for me and my partner’s annual trip down there with her family. With no internet connection of any kind in the flat we stayed in the songs I had on my phone were the songs I had for the whole week. And I kept coming back to The Ideal Husband. It accompanied me during a few nights where I had more than a few too many drinks – through drunken breakdowns and bouts of bracing self-loathing. It’s not a song you’d really want to strike a chord with you. But there I was belting out the line, “wouldn’t I make the ideal husband?” with the same knowing snarl as Misty, three sheets to the wind on the end of a pier wondering what the hell I was doing with myself.

I listened to Honeybear again since, thinking it might have been my way in, that I might finally see what all the fuss was about. But I still got nothing out of it. The Ideal Husband is a one off moment of connection I guess. A brief instant where me and Father John Misty shared a knowing glance across the bar, from one fuck up to another. But I still wouldn’t want to have a drink with him.