Monday night on The Voice‘s top 12 Live Playoffs show, Season 11’s resident indie singer-songwriter, Aaron Gibson, insisted on performing Father John Misty’s “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” despite his coach Miley Cyrus’s concerns that the relatively obscure song wouldn’t be a hit with mainstream viewers. It turns out Cyrus’s fears were justified, as Gibson placed second-to-last among Voice contestants on this week’s iTunes chart, at #156. (Only two other contestants failed to crack the top 100 at all.)
And one person who was likely among the many who did not download Gibson’s Father John Misty cover was Father John Misty himself, who offered up some terse but clearly agonized commentary on the performance — “why God why” — before deleting the post from his Facebook.
It’s unclear whether Father John Misty greenlit “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” for The Voice and just changed his mind once Gibson’s rendition left him unimpressed, or if he was left out of the NBC clearance negotiations entirely. Some artists might have been more appreciative of the national exposure, but it’s clear that Misty, aka Josh Tillman, isn’t that into the idea of selling out for the mainstream — or the idea of TV cover songs. Earlier this year, Tillman was offered $250,000 remake the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” for a Chipotle commercial, but declined, allegedly telling the fast food chain, “I don’t want your f—ing burrito money.” My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard ended up recording the BSB song for Chipotle instead, so maybe if Gibson survives this Tuesday’s results show, he should stick to My Morning Jacket and Alabama Shakes covers instead.
I personally enjoyed Gibson’s version of “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” and so did the Voice coaches. Adam Levine told Gibson Monday night, “Your voice is so special, you have the responsibility to be a singer; it would be a disservice to the world to not do it,” and Cyrus said, “I do think it’s important to have someone who sounds like you… We haven’t had quite someone like you on the show before.”
Compare and contract Gibson’s cover with Tillman’s original and decide for yourself.