Father John Misty Covers Ryan Adams Covering Taylor Swift (But In The Style Of The Velvet Underground)
I would like to posit a theory. That theory is that the more degrees away from Taylor Swift, the better Taylor Swift’s music sounds. I realize that sounds confusing. Here’s what I mean: So, Ryan Adams’ Bruce Springsteen-inspired take on Swift’s pop album, 1989, is arguably better than the original, though the slowed down tempo and sparse vocals make it hard to ignore the badly written lyrics. (Hold off on disputing this at least until I’m done with the post.) Now, another artist has gotten in on the Swift covering action.
Father John Misty (real name Josh Tillman), who makes panty-dropping folk rock, and is, as Stereogum perfectly put it, “a canny observer of modern culture” — seriously, his Instagram is mostly just stupidly captioned stock photos — announced on Twitter today that he was working on a “song for song reinterpretation of Ryan Adams’ ‘1989.’” He deleted the tweeted, but then he started actually dropping those cover songs on his Soundcloud page. Misty’s take on Ryan’s Springsteen-inspired take on Taylor’s music is very, very obviously influenced by a band that really knew how to say Welcome to New York — the Velvet Underground.
Regardless of how big a joke this may or may not be, I am here for it. First of all, Misty’s Lou Reed impression is flawless. Second, his versions of “Blank Space” and “Welcome to New York” are even more pleasing to the ear than Adams’ AND the pacing of Misty’s singing actually downplayed the stupidity of Swift’s lyrics. Or maybe everything just sounds smarter when a Lou Reed-esque voice is singing it. Whatever. MORE PLEASE, FATHER JOHN. Thank you, AMEN.