“Under the guise of Father John Misty, Josh Tillman has been updating the singer-songwriter tradition for our post-ironic era, tapping and tweaking its melodicism and ‘sincerity,’” writes Rollings Stone. Tonight, the indie rock star makes his Austin City Limits debut, in support of his third album Pure Comedy.
Josh Tillman grew up in Rockville, Maryland. Discovered in Seattle by singer/songwriter Damien Jurado, he began touring and making records, releasing eight under his own name. He then joined Fleet Foxes for the recording and touring cycle of 2011’s Helplessness Blues, which included an Austin City Limits taping. As Father John Misty, he gained immediate attention with 2012’s Fear Fun, solidifying the status of his lyric- heavy, melodic folk rock with 2015’s I Love You, Honeybear.
Father John Misty’s artistry comes to a head on the madly ambitious new album Pure Comedy. Inspired by the chaos and uncertainty of modern life, he writes “about the dubious privilege of being here, the elusiveness of meaning, true love and its habitual absence, random euphoria and the inexplicable misery of others, truth and its more alluring counterfeits, the sophistication of answers that don’t make any sense, the barbarism of our appetites, lucky breaks and injustice, faith and ignorance, crippling, mind-numbing boredom, and the terror of it all ending too soon.”
Heady stuff, wrapped in lyrical wit and the kind of melodies Harry Nilsson would’ve killed to write. “This is a big-idea album in a way none of his work was before,” notes Paste, while Exclaim says that it’s “packed with so much meaning and complexity, it feels as overwhelmingly absurd, joyous, curious, tragic, extraordinary and contradictory as life itself.” Under the Radar puts it far more simply: “Pure Comedy is big and clever, and oh so very brilliant.”
EPISODE LISTFather John Misty / The Black Angels (43)
- ACL announces the second half of its Season 43 broadcast schedule
- Taping recap: Father John Misty
- ACL livestreams Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires on 8/21, Father John Misty on 8/22
- Giveaway: Father John Misty 8/22
- New tapings: Ed Sheeran, Father John Misty and Herbie Hancock