When Josh Tillman walked away as drummer of the Fleet Foxes in December of 2011, he posted on his tumblr that he was going “back into the gaping maw of obscurity.” That time is surely over. After recording demos in his home studio with the help of LA producer Johnathan Wilson, these songs ended up in the hands of producer Phil Ek (Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, Fleet Foxes, etc.). He came on board to mix, and the result is the May 1st release of Fear Fun, under Tillman’s latest moniker Father John Misty.
Best known for his work with Fleet Foxes, Joshua Tillman is no stranger to solo projects. Since 2005 he’s released seven full lengths and three EPs as J. Tillman. Fear Fun is absolutely mesmerizing in all respects and serves as the only sane reason for any drummer to leave one of the most respected bands in indie rock. Mr. Tillman’s lyrics are otherworldly, featuring pitch-perfect analogies and biting sarcasm. Fear Fun standouts are tough to pinpoint, especially on a record that contains virtually no filler.
“Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” and “Writing a Novel” are perfect starting points for new listeners. “Now I’m Learning to Love the War” and “Every Man Needs a Companion” are perfect ditties to compliment more experienced listeners supplementing the experience with Makers Mark. There are too many quotable lyrics to fill this review. There are too many hooks to do this analysis any sort of justice. Josh Tillman has surpassed his former band in all regards. Father John Misty’s Fear Fun is one of the best records of 2012. By the way, FJM is also one of the best live shows of this year. Check him out ASAP!
Check out Father John Misty’s video for “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” featuring Aubrey Plaza, undoubtedly our favorite video of 2012 so far: