Music is inherently romantic because it is naturally beautiful. But a good love song is hard to find. Love songs can’t just be thrown together with empty words and easy cliches. They should invoke love in the listener. Those in love relate to it, and those who aren’t, long for it. An artist who has not felt those emotions can’t relay them correctly to the listener.
Father John Misty’s “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” from his 2015 release I Love You, Honeybear is a song that captures the essence of love. The song makes it obvious that he is completely and unabashedly in love with his wife Emma.
The lines “People are boring/ But you’re something else I can’t explain,” is an example of Father John Misty’s usual cynicism that normally would not be found in a love song. But instead of using his cynicism to turn away from society, he uses it in this case to show his undying love for his wife.
It’s obvious the love is real: Father John Misty — also known as Josh Tillman — references his wife’s name and how they met throughout the song. He even includes with the album a photo of the note that he references in the song with the lines “You left a note in your perfect script/ ‘Stay as long as you want’/ And I haven’t left your bed since.” The song is genuinely personal but at the same time relatable so that any listener can tell how in love he is.
The song is a celebration of overwhelming passion. In a song so full of admiration for someone, it would be easy for a songwriter to slip into cliches. But Tillman avoids cliches by making the song a celebration of love rather than just about the love itself.
Father John Misty’s usual cynicism is abundant in the song, but it’s not negative. The song relies on the fact that Tillman doesn’t like a lot of people, but he loves Emma Tillman more than he has ever loved anything. The title itself gives that away; he’s not alluding to sex when he says it’s “for Two Virgins.” He is saying that the feeling of being emphatically in love with someone is brand new for him.
“Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” is a song to fall in love to. It’s a grandiose expression of genuine love and affection for Tillman’s wife. His normal cynicism is evident, but it makes the song even more personal. There’s not a line in the song that does not ooze true affection for Emma Tillman, which makes it the perfect song for Valentine’s Day.
Shelby Campbell is a freshman studying journalism and political science at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you listen to Father John Misty? Let Shelby know by tweeting her @bloodbuzzohioan.