Father John Misty, whose brand spanking new album I Love You, Honeybear has deservedly been hoovering up the plaudits, released a cover of Nirvana’s ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ on Valentine’s Day last month.* It’s an elegiac take on the song, sparse and haunting; any meaningful cover has to find an alchemy between the vibe of the original song and the vibe of the artist covering it.**
Here’s a cool little set, recorded for Seattle’s KEXP a couple of years back, including an interview in which a charming Josh Tillman explains how he’s developed creatively and musically since his more earnest J. Tillman solo work.*** There’s a touch of Jim Morrison in his vocal stylings (if not timbre; there’s also a slight facial resemblance).
And here’s an engaging and thoughtful interview with the chap in the Guardian.
* According to Courtney Love, the song is about her vagina, though Cobain’s lyrics are typically ambiguous; make what you will of the timing of the cover’s release.
** Yes, am fully aware of the gentle irony of this, considering I’m the guitarist in a grunge tribute act. We don’t try to replicate each song as faithfully as some single-band tribute acts will attempt to do, seeking instead to present the songs through our own sound; we don’t stray that far from the originals; perhaps we should from time to time…
*** Vacilando Territory Blues and Year in the Kingdom are well worth a spin. Tillman was also the drummer in Fleet Foxes from 2008 to 2012. Busy chap.