Father John Misty
Fear Fun (Sub Pop)
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., May 11, 2012
Father John MistyFear Fun (Sub Pop)
Josh Tillman bears an old soul. And not just in his wise-beyond-his-years demeanor. He's crotchety, riddled with existential angst and a dimming worldview. On his Sub Pop debut, the self-anointed and self-aware Father John Misty bemoans everything from his birth name ("Everyman Needs a Companion") to the petroleum it takes to press vinyl records ("Now I'm Learning To Love the War"). Fear Fun is that glorious bummer, steeped in the pastoral warmth of Laurel Canyon ("O I Long To Feel Your Arms Around Me"), Harry Nilsson's warped balladry ("Misty's Nightmares 1 & 2"), wry country soul ("Tee Pees 1-12"), and Sixties pop grandeur – often all in the same song ("Nancy From Now On"). Tillman's first post-Fleet Foxes album offers a natural extension of his profane trinity for Austin's Western Vinyl – the gold rush of 2009's Vacilando Territory Blues, close companion Year in the Kingdom, and 2010's stark confessional, Singing Ax – only wilder and woollier, with fuller production and backing by psych-folk contemporary Jonathan Wilson. The main attraction remains Tillman's stunning voice – capable of converting the harshest skeptics – but there's a newfound narrative streak at work here, too. His novella Mostly Hypothetical Mountains is reproduced in the liner notes and most tracks boast absurd subtitles, most tellingly the sprawling "I'm Writing a Novel," aka "Believe Me, No One Will Mistake You for a Woodsman (Once We All Have To Live There and the Actual Woodsmen Declare Marshall Law)." Black humor, demons, g-o-d, easy women: Welcome to the cult of Father John Misty. (Father John Misty blesses Mohawk, Saturday, May 26.)
Kevin Curtin, Fri., May 17, 2013
Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 17, 2013
Austin Powell, Fri., May 17, 2013
Raoul Hernandez, Fri., May 17, 2013
Michael Toland, Fri., May 3, 2013
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