Right now, you were supposed to be reading a review of his new album I Love You, Honeybear, set to release this Tuesday. I was going to rave about his past efforts, how I’m still humming “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” from his 2012 album Fear Fun. Then, probably go into great detail about his growth as an artist, and maybe even touch on a few of his weird antics like that one time he went to a shaman and started hallucinating about baguettes and berets. It was going to be awesome. It’s a shame then, that Misty likes fucking with us.

Painter, drummer, singer, songwriter, shroom-taker – Josh Tillman found and lost God while growing up in an Evangelical community. Under the name J.Tillman, he attempted to create a musical career with some solo projects, though the music took itself too seriously and was mostly unsuccessful. In 2007, he got his big break, of sorts, when he joined the band Fleet Foxes as the drummer. With 2012 approaching, and after leaving Fleet Foxes, he adopted the moniker Father John Misty, and the rest, as they say, is history. He became a swaggering, indie sex symbol by jumping and jiving on stage, a large deviation from his former projects. And now, here we are, anxiously awaiting his sophomore effort.

Most albums leak to the Internet before their actual release dates. If you know which sketchy sites to scrounge, you can find almost anything before it’s supposed to drop. A lot of artists even stream their stuff in its entirety beforehand. And, it appeared Misty had done the same. In fact, he seemed to have gone above and beyond, creating his own streaming site, SAP.

Sounds too good to be true? That’s because it is.

Turns out, SAP exclusively streams only I Love You, Honeybear. But, take a quick exploration of the site and you’ll realize that it’s Misty’s way of poking fun at the current state of superficial music sharing on the Internet. He’s commenting on the misguided belief that musicians are selfish for wanting to make money off their work.

“Did you know that music can also be expensive to make? Some artists have discovered that sharing their music for free can be tough financially,” the site reads. “Is there a way to prevent anyone from spending money ever?”

After scrolling for a while, the site explicitly reveals its true intentions. Misty calls SAP a “process by which popular albums are ‘sapped’ of their performances, original vocals, atmosphere and other distracting affections so the consumer can decide quickly and efficiently whether they like a musical composition, based strictly on its formal attributes, enough to spend money on it.”

Continue downward and you find a seemingly regular track player that streams echoes of actual songs. Instead of vocals, we hear auto-tuned keyboard lines. It reminds me of the tracks you find in karaoke bars. The songs sound absolutely terrible. And that’s the point.

I guess we’ll just have to wait until Tuesday to hear I Love You, Honeybear in full. Until then, you can satisfy yourself with the album’s released singles, “Bored In The USA” and “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins).”

At the bottom of the page, there’s a “Contact SAP” option. I was tempted to write something like, “Come on, dude, we just want to hear your music.” But Misty poses an interesting question: why are artists the bad guys because they want to make money?

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