Published on Julian McKenzie's blog Because The Intern on December 21, 2015
The best album this year was To Pimp A Butterfly, obviously.
But 2015 was a watershed—for music and for me—so I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. Waiting for a moment to give TPAB the attention it deserved, I ended up not listening to it at all.
In the meantime, I listened to a lot of Father John Misty. I Love You Honeybear was the realization of a new Josh Tillman: born of a mushroom vision while in a tree. It was the product of an immense personal transformation, and that hit me, hard.
This year I fell in love (hi Norah), got a real job, got published, grew a proper beard, got glasses, got LinkedIn, cried more than in recent memory, lost a dangerous amount of weight, lost an election, went to university—all for the first time. I saw glimpses of the human I’ll eventually be and started moving toward him.
Reflecting on the year feels painfully self-aware—but also it’s important and worth doing. And I want to shamelessly own that paradox because that’s what Tillman did. His album echoes and marries similarly opposing instincts—irony against sincerity, personal growth against cultural deterioration, individuality against a loving marriage—with thought and humor and pretty music. And he gave me permission to try something similar.
The world absolutely didn’t, but I had a great year. So I Love You Honeybear wasn’t my album of the year; it was the album of my year.