WVAU’s #3 Song of 2015: "Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)" by Father John Misty

Kathleen Lovito

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Courtesy of  Village Voice

Say what you will about Father John Misty- trash his grimy hippie persona, poke fun at his hackneyed lumbersexual hairdo scoff at this pompous interview responses- but the man knows how to write a love song. And not just any love song, but a love song that truly speaks to all those hip, young things romancing their way through 2015.

Father John Misty is by no means your grandfather‰’s crooner and “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)‰” is not a starry-eyed Frank Sinatra anthem. It doesn‰’t impart the same values as The Beach Boys swoon-worthy “Wouldn‰’t It Be Nice‰” and, hell, modern love biographer Taylor Swift can‰’t even touch it with a ten-foot pole. No, “Chateau Lobby #4‰” walks to the beat of its own mariachi-inspire drum down a very thin line between intimacy and passion.

The song contains all the obligatory warm and fuzzy feelings of a love song but without their conventional, kosher reins. Misty sings of a love built upon all those little things that silently draw you to someone but wouldn’t typically make it onto your eHarmony profile. There are no long walks along the beach or dreams of raising a family in this relationship, only a shared hatred for all the same things and participation in “satanic Christmas Eve.‰” The modern love Misty sings of is all about questioning the expectations set by relationships past and disregarding the hard and fast rules many of us were raised to abide by.

And why not? In a time when couples are content to commit themselves to each other without the formal tethers of marriage for ten or twenty years, some “norms‰” (namely, in Misty‰’s case, waiting until marriage to have sex) seem a little ridiculous or “bourgeoisie,‰” as Misty puts it. And Misty is not a bourgeoisie kind of guy. Certainly not when his eccentric beloved wears a “wedding dress someone was probably murdered in‰” (which I‰’m going to assume means it came from a thrift shop and is not splattered in blood because that wouldn‰’t be quirky, just unhygienic).

“So what,‰” you say? There are plenty of songs out there that talk about sex and Lord knows most of it‰’s occurring before marriage. What makes “Chateau Lobby #4‰” so iconic? Perhaps it‰’s that, along with all the passionate imagery and zany details of Misty‰’s relationship, the song truly imparts the sense that all the feelings and desires expressed come from a place of genuine intimacy and commitment.

The song kicks off with the lyrics “Emma eats bread and butter like the queen would have ostrich and cobra wine‰” to establish the high regards Misty hold his beloved in from the very beginning. He only grows more smitten as the song, which plays out like a fevered stream of consciousness, continues and we learn that Misty‰’s in near disbelief that he‰’s found someone he doesn‰’t think is boring and that she is, in fact, going to take his last name. These lovey-dovey feelings come together at the end of this mariachi waltz when Misty bursts forth with “What are you doing with your whole life? How about forever?‰” No going to lie, it seems like Misty has just about given up with these last two lines. They‰’re uninspired and saccharine but, damn, do they get me every time.