Father John Misty
Saturday, July 27, 2013
“Back into the gaping maw of obscurity I go.”
“That was part of the brief message that J. Tillman posted to his Tumblr page in early 2012 to announce that he was parting ways with the Fleet Foxes, a band in which he had served as full-time drummer since 2008. Tillman may have wholeheartedly believed that statement at the time, as he had been steadily releasing a string of excellent, Nick Drake-influenced solo records for close to a decade with little commercial success to show for it. Leaving the Pacific Northwest behind, Tillman relocated to Southern California, landing in Los Angeles’s famed Laurel Canyon neighborhood, where he began writing a novel which eventually led him back to creating music.
Reborn as the psychedelic shaman troubadour Father John Misty, the singer-songwriter proved he didn’t belong in the grey gloominess of Seattle. Instead he was meant to embrace the sunshine and the Technicolor weirdness of the greater Los Angeles area, offering up Fear Fun, his critically-acclaimed debut of acid-drenched folk-rock. Produced by last year’s Newport break-out star Jonathan Wilson, the record is steeped in the Canyon’s rich musical legacy, touching on everything from CSN harmonies to Harry Nilsson’s brainy pop to the Flying Burrito Brothers’ country-rock all engulfed in a spectre of Tillman’s haunting baritone vocals.
In a little less than a year since unveiling his newfound alter-ego, and thanks in part to his tongue-in-cheek stage bravado that channels the late Jim Morrison, Father John Misty has managed to appear on both The Late Show with David Letterman and Conan, perform in front of capacity crowds across the country and will now make his Newport Folk debut this summer. So much for heading toward that maw of obscurity.”
– Jeffrey Greenblatt
Artists and schedule are subject to change.