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."

Contributor

Dorian Lynskey

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Father John Misty: I'm Writing a Novel live session – video

Father John Misty, aka former Fleet Fox Josh Tillman, plays a live acoustic version of his track I'm Writing a Novel

Ben Kape, Andy Gallagher, Ken Macfarlane and Josh Strauss

31, May, 2012 @1:30 PM

Article image
Father John Misty: Pure Comedy review – wonderfully uneasy listening
Josh Tillman’s dark pronouncements, set to luscious, 70s-style orchestration, update the idea of the confessional singer-songwriter for the post-truth era

Alexis Petridis

06, Apr, 2017 @2:30 PM

Article image
Father John Misty: God's Favorite Customer review – downsides to the confession profession
Josh Tillman’s latest feels rootless and desolate, as if he is compromised by his work, as his voice sounds at its most warm and approachable

Michael Hann

01, Jun, 2018 @8:00 AM

Article image
Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear review – beautiful songs of unclear meaning
It’s hard to tell where Joshua Tillman ends and his alias Father John Misty begins – but perhaps it doesn’t matter when the songs sound this good, writes Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

05, Feb, 2015 @3:00 PM

Father John Misty: Fear Run – review
Former Fleet Foxes drummer Joshua Tillman returns with a new moniker and a haunting collection of songs, writes Paul Mardles

Paul Mardles

28, Apr, 2012 @11:05 PM

Article image
Father John Misty: ‘I get sick pleasure out of reading about how much people hate me’
Josh Tillman says he has given himself permission to self-destruct again. He talks about turning his latest album, Pure Comedy, into an ‘insane’ musical – and why Trump’s victory was like the Gen-X humour he was weaned on ‘having a cruel orgasm’ in his mind

Dorian Lynskey

30, Mar, 2017 @12:02 PM

Article image
Father John Misty review – droll set falls flat in concert hall confines
Josh Tillman attempts to eke energy out of the seated crowd by filling the space with angelic vocals, suit-degrading stage antics and rakish limb thrusting

Michael Safi

09, Dec, 2015 @1:48 AM

Article image
Mac DeMarco and Father John Misty first headliners of End of the Road 2017
The music festival amid Wiltshire foliage returns with an eclectic selection of psych, indie and Americana

Guardian music

08, Feb, 2017 @9:00 AM

Article image
Father John Misty review – I am the resurrection
Josh Tillman’s miraculous transformation from maudlin balladeer to country-soul showman Father John Misty is a joy to behold

Kitty Empire

01, Nov, 2015 @8:00 AM

Article image
The best albums of 2017: the full list
St Vincent tops our countdown of this year’s most outstanding sounds, from complex rap to moody rock, alt-R&B, inventive grime and more

05, Dec, 2017 @6:00 AM