“But I don’t wanna leave the palace / Let’s pay someone to move in here and fix this.” The hardships are substantial for Josh Tillman, better known as Father John Misty. Clearly, on the extremely slow, gorgeous, and haunting balladry of “The Palace,” the alternative singer/songwriter has reached a breaking point. Specifically, the hardship that is plaguing him is his ‘head’ – his mental health. Repeatedly throughout the record he sings, “I’m in over my head.” Interestingly, Tillman devotes much of his 2018 album, God’s Favorite Customer, to being honest and open about personal, mental health issues, including doing so in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
“The Palace,” filled with such moments, perfectly capturing the idiosyncrasies and quirks that are a product of someone crying for help. Narratively, Father John Misty has been living in a luxurious hotel (‘The Palace’), separated from his wife, and he’s doing poorly. He’s trying to escape his problems, rather than face them head on this ultra-vulnerable, relatable, piano-fueled number. Instances of attempted atonement include drug use, composing poetry, and considering acquiring a pet in order to “Learn how to take care of somebody else.”
Despite all his ridiculous, completely inadequate efforts to atone and escape, by the end, he knows what he must do – try to get well: “Last night I texted your iPhone / And said I think I’m ready to come home.” Anyone who’s been depressed and attempted to escape, yet needed proper help, should be able to relate to Tillman’s struggles on “The Palace.”
You can learn more about Father John Misty here:
About The Curator - Brent Faulkner
Slightly eccentric with interests that seem to know no ends, restless ‘Renaissance Man’ is the best way to characterize Brent Faulkner, a native of Kentucky. A certified music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known for his incredibly sharp ear, he lives and breathes music of a variety of styles. In addition to passion for educating, performing, and writing music, he’s equally passionate blogging and writing about it, managing his own site, The Musical Hype (https://themusicalhype.com). When he’s not intensely analyzing music, you can find him reading or watching a movie, reality television or some sporting event.