FATHER JOHN MISTY plays the Horseshoe Tavern May 14. See listing. Rating: NNNN
For his subversively entertaining debut album as Father John Misty, singer/songwriter and former Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman switched to a new moniker (he used to record solo albums as J. Tillman) and moved to Sub Pop.
Fear Fun is pretentious and sarcastic, but Tillman pulls it off by emulating various folk and indie styles – CCR soul rock, choral folk, rockabilly – really well. There’s a warm 70s vibe on Nancy From Now On, while grungy Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings is an oddly catchy standout.
Tillman’s voice sounds sublime delivering lyrics about sexy graveyard encounters, ex-girlfriends and the dark side of California living. They’re insidiously funny more than laugh-out-loud, and he doesn’t even spare himself: one song outlines the environmental and socio-economic hazards of making a record.
Top track: Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings