It’s not clear whether we’re all living in the same reality as Father John Misty. Singer-songwriter Josh Tillman sees life through the lens of absurdism, equal parts enchanted and disappointed by the world around him. He dreams up detailed fictional scenarios to illustrate his cynicism, exposing the meaningless chaos of the real world and creating the hyper-realistic world of Father John Misty.
Getting to know Josh Tillman
Josh Tillman began his solo career after departing from the indie-folk band, Fleet Foxes
. He played drums for the band but left in 2012, releasing his debut LP Fear Fun the same year. Three years later, Tillman released I Love You, Honeybear, skyrocketing him to indie stardom. At heart, he still carries his folk roots with acoustic a
rrangements and first-person stories (whether they’re true or not). His scathing assessment of the world, like on “Bored in the USA”
comes off like stand-up comedy, especially with the laugh track added in the mix.
His 2017 record, Pure Comedy, followed in the same vein, dripping in satire and disdain for the state of our world. He tackles many of his usual topics, including the entertainment industry, capitalism, dirty politicians, religion, ageism, and more. He hits on nearly all of these topics in the album’s opening and title track “Pure Comedy”. “Just wait until the part where they start to believe, They’re at the center of everything /And some all-powerful being, Endowed this horror show with meaning”, he sings. The track serves as a thesis for the album, exposing the plight of humanity as an inherently comedic mess.
PLAY “Pure Comedy” 4:57-5:28
Father John Misty’s Golden Age
In his new album, Chloë and the Next 20th Century, Josh Tillman revels in the golden age of Hollywood. Lush, orchestral instrumentation is the backbone of the record, sounding elegant and timeless. Although he may sound more buttoned up than usual, he still sings about some of his common themes. He’s searching for a last-ditch effort to save humanity from the brink. It’s especially apparent on “Goodbye Mr. Blue”, where he continually repeats, “This may be the last time”. This track has a country twang, with stirring acoustic guitar throughout.
PLAY “Goodbye Mr. Blue” 2:15-2:35
And with Tillman’s sigature satirical and ironic style, it may surprise you that he’s worked side by side with some of pop’s biggest stars. He earned a writing credit on Beyonce’s Lemonade track, “Hold Up” as well as contributed “Sinner’s Prayer” and “Come to Mama” to Lady Gaga’s Joanne.
Father John Misty announced a world tour in support of Chloë and the Next 20th Century. Suki Waterhouse joins him on the North American leg of the tour. Click here to check out the full list of tour dates and ticket options.