Father John Misty – Fear Fun (2012)

by astro man

Joshua Tillman (J.Tillman) is an american folk singer/songwriter/guitarist/drummer/talented musician. He is currently playing under the name Father John Misty. You may also know him as the drummer for Fleet Foxes. Another phenomenal band for another time in another blog post. Father John Misty released Fear Fun on April 20, 2012 on Sub Pop. For the longest time his name was J.Tillman until he found himself struggling with writing music. He wanted to leave that part of himself behind and so he started writing a novel. It was during this time that he was able to find his true voice. Looking for a new name he was searching for a real off-the-wall, crazy, nonsensical, and yet phonetically beautiful name. He was able to achieve all of this through the name Father John Misty.

Fear Fun has a lot of interesting sounds to it. This music isn’t what you hear on the radio, but what you would hear traveling the canyons out west or the mountains in the east. Through this album he really strides for funky fun tunes that rock out at the same time. His lyrics are very poetic and can sometimes be looked at as a narrators voice for a story.

“Funtimes in Babylon” is the opening track and is a slow tune with a darker side to it. If you watch the music video it shows Tillman waking up in a apocalyptic world and stumbling through the wreckage of humanity. The album goes through different moods jumping back from darker songs to lighter happier songs. “Nancy From Now On” is a beautiful song musically and yet  a darker song lyrically. To paraphrase Tillman, he said that the lyrics are about shedding the skin of who you used to be, but doing it in a way with lots of conflict that harms yourself.

“I’m Writing a Novel” is more of a rocking tune that could be considered an ode to a old rodeo showdown, Buddy Holly, and Neil Young all shook up. The guitar riff that repeats is quite catchy, catchy enough to make me want to dance. Shit, maybe this will have the same effect on you. “Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2” has a vibe of country rock to it. Through the lyrics he reminisces on his past love’s, “Now I’m watching you changing the mirror / And I’m unable to move / When all my girlfriends appear in the doorway / I don’t know how they got here /I don’t know what to say about this”–the perspective I have gained from these lyrics are that each woman he has dated has changed him and through all of these changes he is a different man from the first to the last.

“Well, You Can Do it With Me” and “Now I’m Learning to Love the War” are notable tracks as well. It is hard not to compare them to Fleet Foxes as well as Dr.Dog. The Album closes with “Everyman Needs a Companion”  which is a beautiful song about how a man needs an equal, someone to console. The lyrics “Like I’m hung up on religion / Though I know it’s a waste / I never liked the name Joshua / I got tired of J..”–they show that Tillman is a man who is constantly going through metamorphosis. He is always looking for something new.

Listen to the album on spotify.

Buy the album here.