Father John Misty drops devastatingly brilliant single, Q4

Father John Misty’s second single, Q4, is superlative literary rock.

Father John Misty recently released the ballad Funny Girl, which featured a ‘40s-style Hollywood big band that was paired with unconventional lyricisms and proto-surrealist Wizard of Oz era videography.

Misty continues his own personal renaissance with Q4, the latest lush offering from his fifth album, Chloë and the Next 20th Century.

Photo courtesy of Father John Misty

Q4 details the career and industry pitfalls of the fictional author, Simone Caldwell. It chronicles her disdained efforts to build a respected artistic career due to the overt commodification of her work.

The title, Q4, highlights the thematic epicentre of the song, referring to the fourth financial quarter of Simone’s fictitious publishing house. It is a cynical riff on the objectification of art, and the conditional public adoration that fickle-y follows. Misty sings, “it was just the thing for their Q4, “deeply funny” was the rave refrain”.

Q4, like Funny Girl, is rife with sonorous, sweeping strings that undertow the songs pervasive lament, while even more exceptionally unique is the effective use of harpsichord – an uncommon timbre in contemporary music – which perks the ear and reinforces Q4’s theme while alluding to the aristocratic indifference that enables the commodification of Simone’s “semi-memoirs”.

Simone is churned up and spit out by the public once the movie adaptation of her memoir is labelled “a mess”. Her professional life worsens when she is “outed for her privilege”, then personal tragedy follows when she, “can’t see her brother now unsupervised”. The chorus hitting twice as hard now, “it was just the thing for their Q4”.

Watch the video for Q4, directed by Father John Misty’s frequent collaborator Grant James, below: