Father John Misty: Fear Fun – review

(Bella Union)

This is Josh Tillman's eighth album, but it's remarkable what a change of stage name (from J Tillman) and scene (he moved from Seattle to Los Angeles) can do, because Fear Fun leaves his previous work in the dust. Opening with a sardonic cry of "Look out Hollywood, here I come," Tillman stumbles through the haunted, hysterical LA of Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust or Neil Young's On the Beach. While the more honeyed moments recall Tillman's recent stint drumming for Fleet Foxes, others evoke the eccentric Americana of Harry Nilsson or the mordant screw-up wit of labelmate John Grant. True to its title, Fear Fun is often about hedonism gone awry, but it is also astute on the subject of creativity, in the hallucinatory I'm Writing a Novel and the elegiac Now I'm Learning to Love the War: "When it's my time to go/Gonna leave behind things that won't decompose."


Dorian Lynskey

The GuardianTramp

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