Album Review: Father John Misty - Fear Fun

24 April 2012 | 10:06 am | Adam Wilding

It could be the album that makes Father John a bit more popular than he would like.

More Father John Misty More Father John Misty

Joshua Tillman, former drummer of a Seattle-based folk revivalist band, announced earlier this year he was quitting that group to allow him to re-focus his efforts on other endeavours, giving way to the Father John Misty moniker.

Let it first be said, Fear Fun bears little resemblance to the releases he has been involved in during his time with Fleet Foxes, although from a choral perspective, there are still a number of amazing harmonics going on throughout. Some will have heard the lead single, Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings, copping rotation on the Js, or perhaps seen the accompanying film clip on YouTube, featuring a very dishevelled-looking Aubrey Plaza on one hell of a bender. The song stands out because it is a quintessential lo-fi indie rock anthem, where the other tracks employ the more traditional folk and country sound through use of the violin, acoustic guitars, organ etcetera, blended together with the harmonics previously mentioned.

As a songwriter and composer, Tillman demonstrates he is more than capable, having honed his craft to a point where these songs in other hands would not reach the level they do here. Part of the appeal is Tillman's cynical side mixed with a sort of emptiness that seeps out all over this album, purporting his reluctance to be noticed and an attempt to try and divert some attention away from what he has done here, just in-case people actually start to notice. While this may serve him to simply make records and earn enough to make a living, it could also be the album that makes Father John a bit more popular than he would like.