Most are well aware that Father John Misty was – in a former life – the drummer for Fleet Foxes. What’s surprising, though, is that a former drummer for Fleet Foxes – a band many view as the sonic equivalent of Sleepytime tea – can actually tear up the stage something fierce when given the chance.
Turns out the man just needed to get out from behind the drum kit.
Father John Misty – the charismatic frontman also known as J. Tillman – insists he fell into his new persona after ending up in Los Angeles following a drug-laden coastal journey in, you guessed it, a van. And much like a butterfly emerging from a smoke-filled cocoon, he came out the other side with a few new colors to show off.
His first offering under this new persona was last year’s Fear Fun. Released via Sub Pop, it’s been referred to as one of the best solo albums of 2012. It spans subjects like fame, sex, mortality and even offers a well-arranged lesson in consumption. But despite the near-unanimous praise it’s received, Fear Fun has received nowhere near the attention it deserves.
It suits him though. Because whereas Fleet Foxes always come off as though they’re singing from the choir stalls, Father John Misty’s vocals often echo as if he’s the ghost trapped in the church tower. There’s a darker, more uneasy tinge to the words he sings and the melodies he strings. And again, it’s quite fitting, seeing as his lyrics and subjects lend themselves nicely to the “psychedelic folk, rock and god only knows what else” cocktail he’s been known to serve up during his live shows.
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