Father John Misty Ponders Empire, Decay, and Val Kilmer on ‘The Next 20th Century’

Father John Misty quietly dropped a sprawling new song, “The Next 20th Century,” the sorta title-track from his upcoming album, Chloë and The Next 20th Century, set to arrive this Friday, April 8, via Sub Pop.

“The Next 20th Century” is an epic ballad that starts at a steady atmospheric pace, but with an extremely attention-grabbing first line, “The nazis that we hired/For our wedding band/Played your anthem like I wasn’t there.” From there, Misty waxes philosophical on empire, death, decay, and pop culture (including a Val Kilmer reference), as the song expands and explodes with sweeping strings and scorching guitar, before receding to a meditative conclusion. 

“The Next 20th Century” marks the fourth track Misty has shared from Chloë and The Next 20th Century, following “Goodbye Mr. Blue,” “Q4,” and “Funny Girl.” The album marks his fifth studio album and first in four years following 2018’s God’s Favorite Customer. 

Misty has a handful of shows scheduled around the arrival of Chloë and The Next 20th Century, including a pair of gigs in the U.K. and two record-release shows at the Rainbow Room in New York City, both on April 14. He has several festival sets scheduled during the summer as well.