Father John Misty goes 'Generic' on three tongue-in-cheek songs

Father John Misty, who has had a brief sideline as a Top 40 pop-song writer for Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, has a new album, “Pure Comedy,” out soon. And it’s supposedly the most bloodletting LP he’s ever written.

But Misty, the stage name of Josh Tillman, has also sipped from the well of run-of-the-mill pop, including a trio of new songs he posted online Sunday. Dubbed the “Generic Pop Song” series, the first three songs — #3, #9 and #16 — are now live on SoundCloud.

Given Misty’s penchant for pranks and irreverent humor, are these songs merely exercises for lucrative future songwriting-hack sessions? A lark on how Top 40 pop is intentionally pruned of its edges? A way for him to come to grips with the fact that he’s actually kind of good at this?

If you didn’t know any better, you could totally hear these as Lady Antebellum demos or pre-production drafts for Maroon 5. But what if someone actually bought them and turned them into midsized hits for the likes of Ed Sheeran? Would the joke be on Misty? It sounds as if he’s pretty done with the whole pop enterprise, but maybe these “generic” tunes could pay for a new hearse.

You can hear Misty’s new songs below, and his forthcoming “Pure Comedy” will be released on Sub Pop on April 7.

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