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Flashback: Father John Misty Covers Rihanna’s ‘Kiss It Better’ in 2016

The depressing passage of time recently revealed that Rihanna’s Anti turned five years old in January, and we’re still anxiously waiting for a follow-up. In a March post commemorating Women’s History Month, Rihanna posted footage from the Anti era, and even hinted to a user that new music might be on the way. “I think I should soon,” she said, adding that it would just be one song. Whether it’s a lone single or a full album, fans are more than ready — and so is Father John Misty.

Misty, a.k.a. Josh Tillman, has long peppered his setlists with predictable covers of Leonard Cohen, the Beatles, and other classics. But he’s also thrown in some curveballs over the years, like Waylon Jenning’s “Laid Back Country Picker,” Lady Gaga’s “Come to Mama” and Coldplay’s “Clocks,” the latter of which his band played while he merely stood on stage and called it his “walk off music.”

Then there’s “Kiss It Better,” which he’s covered nearly a dozen times, more than his some of his own songs (you would think a tune as whimsical as “I’m Writing a Novel” would have been performed more than once). Tillman debuted “Kiss It Better” on March 30th, 2016 in Santa Ana, California, which you can watch above. In the clip, he dedicates it to his wife Emma, telling the crowd it’s currently their favorite song. In typical FJM fashion, he applies his sensual dance moves to the performance, swaying his hips back and forth to the line “Just take it on back/take it on back.”

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Tillman is rumored to release a new album this year, his first since 2018’s God’s Favorite Customer. If Rihanna does release a new album in 2021, she should return the favor and cover a Misty song, preferably “When You’re Smiling and Astride Me,” which is basically his “Love on the Brain.” Considering Anti contains her take on Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” it wouldn’t be that far out of her wheelhouse.

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