NEW MUSIC: Father John Misty Announces New LP ‘Pure Comedy’.

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Father John Misty (Josh Tillman) is back with the follow-up to his acclaimed album I Love You, Honeybear. Titled Pure Comedy, the album is due out on April 7th via Sub Pop and Inertia Music and features co-production with Jonathan Wilson, string arrangements by Gavin Bryars and other contributions from Nico Muhly and Thomas Bartlett. The mastering was done by the legendary Bob Ludwig.

Tracklisting:

1. Pure Comedy
2. Total Entertainment Forever
3. Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before The Revolution
4. Ballad of the Dying Man
5. Birdie
6. Leaving LA
7. A Bigger Paper Bag
8. When The God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay
9. Smoochie
10. Two Wildly Different Perspectives
11. The Memo
12. So I’m Growing old on Magic Mountain
13. In Twenty Years or So

Pure Comedy is available for pre-order now, in the following formats:

  • A Deluxe 2xLP version on aluminum & copper vinyl, a die-cut customisable jacket with 4 interactive “Background” sleeves (so you can have whatever sky you damn will feel like as the cover), all encased in a clear clipcase. Includes a fold-out poster and an exclusive holographic tarot card by Ed Steed.
  • A 2xLP gatefold version also available in 4 cover variations on black vinyl
  • A CD gatefold digipak with slipcase available in 4 cover variations
  • As digital album

Cover variations for the standard LP and CD will be randomly distributed. Collect them all!

Pre-orders through select retailers will receive a limited 7” single, featuring physical release of fan favourite ‘Real Love Baby’ on the A-side and the as yet unreleased track, ‘Rejected Generic Pop Song, March ‘15#3’ on the B-side (while supplies last).

Tillman and Grant James (‘Funtimes in Babylon’, ‘I Love You, Honeybear’) also co-directed Pure Comedy: The Film.  Pure Comedy is a gorgeously rendered black & white document of the live tracking, as well as a surreal look into Tillman’s writing process.  A six person crew, complete with cranes in the tracking rooms, captured every moment of the recording, giving the viewer intimate audience to actual album takes, including the one and only 2:00am performance of the 13-minute ‘Leaving LA’.  It also features the only known recording of Tillman’s love ballad to his sound engineer Trevor Spencer.

INTERVIEW: Father John Misty – Waking From The Intellectual Dream

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The transformative effects of romance, intimacy and self-acceptance form the backbone of Josh Tillman’s second album under the moniker Father John Misty. From his home in New Orleans Tillman looks back with Chris Familton on the two years it took to write and record I Love You Honeybear.

“I think I have some clarity in terms of what was going on that I didn’t have at the time. I think I went into the process thinking I was doing one thing and once the album was done I think there was an initial shock where I was horrified at the reality of what I’d actually done. I told myself going into this thing that there was all this talk that I was going to make an album about love, that it’s wasn’t going to be cliched and I was going to take down the white stag of writing love songs. It was just garbage. On the other side of it I now realise I’ve made this vulnerable album about myself. “

“I could have stayed where I was with Fear Fun and to be honest that was part of what made this album difficult to begin with because I did want to keep with that way of thinking and method of working because it had worked. I can admit that that was the only success I’d ever really had. In a creative sense I was thinking I’d done it, all I had to do was just stay there but it was miserable and just didn’t work. The arrangements wouldn’t stick and the soufflé wouldn’t rise. At some point my wife Emma told me that this is a different type of song and you can’t be afraid to let these songs be beautiful. That was the lightbulb moment for me. This thing is going to succeed or fail on that. People will either want to hear a beautiful song from me or not hear a beautiful song from me.”

For all the soul searching and personal self-help that Tillman subjects himself to there is a sense of imagination and exuberant creativity when it comes to the diverse arrangements and instrumentation on the recordings.

“To some extent there was some kind of freudian bartering going on in my subconscious. I can be this vulnerable but I’ll get away with it by creating this huge schmaltzy din, this Disney kind of orchestration. That’s my sound, this conflict between sincerity and self-criticism. There are these competing voices. The voice of confession and me wanting to own my own experiences and feel my own pain. Then there is this competing voice saying “Are you serious, are you really going to write that?”. It’s chaos, this relationship between the lyrics and the music.”

Many people thought Josh Tillman was taking on a character when he took on Father John Misty but the reality is he was revealing his true experiences and emotions in his songs.

“If we’re going to stick with this theme of transformation, I’m writing about a different me. There is no Father John Misty character or something. It’s Josh Tillman who is a human who evolves and changes. Part of why I wanted to keep some of the more grotesque parts of the album was because I wanted there to be context in these songs, if they are about transformation people need to know what or where that change comes from. It’s not a fantasy, there is no fantasy on the album.”

this review was first published in The Music

ALBUM REVIEW: Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear

Rating7.5fjm-iloveyouhoneybearAfter a handful of stark solo folk albums Josh Tillman quit his day job as drummer for Fleet Foxes and re-emerged as Father John Misty with a new sound that was bursting with dramatic pop songs and kaleidoscopic lyrical images. It now seems that on Fear Fun Tillman was only warming up as I Love You Honeybear dials up the musical saturation and dives deep into the cosmic and terrestrial depths of love.

Lyrically Tillman has taken his own experience of love and marriage and approaches it from multiple angles –  the long distance trials of ‘True Affection’, it’s physical manifestation on ‘When You’re Smiling And Astride Me’ and the wider absence of love and stimulation on ‘Bored In The USA’. His confessional style means his songs can be both brutally honest and direct while also guilty of appearing aloof and archly theatrical. At one point he confesses he’s “The aimless, fake drifter and the horny, man-child, Mamma’s boy to boot.” That’s the complex dichotomy of Father John Misty, creating poetry out of the mundane with the skill of a lyricist such as Morrissey.

Jonathan Wilson produced the album and he and Tillman have allowed themselves free rein to use a wide palette of sounds and styles, from Mariachi horns, electronica, soulful grooves and rich string arrangements. What hasn’t changed and what also makes the album so rewarding is Tillman’s melodic nous. As a result I Love You Honeybear is a collection of baroque, literate pop songs that reveal new layers of sonic and lyrical detail on each listen.

Chris Familton

this review was first published in The Music

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LIST: DS Top Albums of 2012

2012 TOP ALBUMS

2012 felt like somewhat of a mixed bag of musical lollies with our favourites encompassing americana, power pop, 80s synth, indie and many shades of psychedelia. The only thing that tied them all together was the strong streak of melody that each was built on. Even in the case of someone like Neil Young & Crazy Horse it was Young’s incredible weaving of musical notes on Old Black that made that record such a delight. Hopefully there will be a few surprises scattered across our list which will send you down another musical rabbit hole to find out if we are onto something… Hopefully we are.

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20-11

10-1

square-600-11Charlie Horse – I Hope I’m Not A Monster

square-600-16Deep Sea Arcade – Outlands

LOWER PLENTYLower Plenty – Hard Rubbish

square-600-15Dinosaur Jr – I Bet On Sky

square-600-13Lee Ranaldo – Between The Times & The Tides

UnknownNeil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill

square-600-17Lawrence Arabia – The Sparrow

square-600Lambchop – Mr. M

square-600-14Suzy Connolly – Night Larks

square-600-12Father John Misty – Dear Fun

2012 | Twenty First Half Favourites

We’re already half away through 2012, crazy huh? It felt like it was a slow start to the year in terms of standout album releases but slowly things have picked up pace and some (in our ears) essential purchases have emerged. Here, in no particular order are twenty LPs that have captured our attention over the last six months.

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LAMBCHOP | MR. M

This is their best since Nixon, majestic, intimate and ethereal.

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE | AMERICANA

The long awaited return of Crazy Horse to the NY fold and they recommence work with brilliant primitive garage rock interpretations of folk classics.

EARTH | ANGELS OF DARKNESS, DEMONS OF LIGHT II

Dylan Carlson and co continue to explore parched and ghostly americana doom.

SHACKLETON | MUSIC FOR THE QUIET HOUR

This music for the head, food for the ears and possesses an astonishing range of electronic composition.

TORCHE | HARMONICRAFT

The sludge metallers continue to refine their heaviosity with their most realised collision of melody and surging heavy rock.

JOSEF VAN WISSEM & JIM JARMUSCH | CONCERNING THE ENTRANCE INTO ETERNITY

A fascinating journey into experimental post rock with this collaboration between a lutist and the acclaimed indie film director on electric guitar.

DR JOHN | LOCKED DOWN

The Night Tripper hooks up with a Black Key and produces his finest work in years. New Orleans voodoo swamp blues and jazz at its finest.

SINEAD O’CONNOR | HOW ABOUT I BE ME (AND YOU BE YOU)?

O’Connor gets personal and raw on one of her best collection of songs in years. FULL REVIEW

OREN AMBARCHI | AUDIENCE OF ONE

Ambarchi’s exquisitely recorded guitar compositions are stretched fleshed out with vocals, whirs and patter making this his most holistic release to date.

DEEP SEA ARCADE | OUTLANDS

Sydney quintet Deep Sea Arcade deserve to top charts and win hearts with this stellar collection of infectious indie guitar pop. FULL REVIEW

FATHER JOHN MISTY | FEAR FUN

Josh Tillman discards his dark stark folk and reveals an album brimming with hooks and a sharp wit. FULL REVIEW

SUZY CONNOLLY | NIGHT LARKS

An early candidate for my album of the year. Night Larks is heartfelt and mature songwriting of the highest order. This will take up residency in your heart and ears. FULL REVIEW

THE CARETAKER | PATIENCE (AFTER SEBALD)

Arcane, lost and forgotten sounds in a bed of crackle and hiss. Pick the right time (night, wine and headphones) and prepare to be transported through space and time.

DAMIEN JURADO | MARAQOPA

Jurado follows up his excellent Saint Bartlett with another LP of classic troubadour songs, this time a tad more psychedelic and swirling in the hands of collaborator Richard Swift.

OPOSSOM | ELECTRIC HAWAII

Essentially the solo project of ex Mint Chick Kody Nielson, this is technicolor pop music at its finest. FULL REVIEW

THE MEN | OPEN YOUR HEART

A real mix of post punk, hardcore and indie rock. The songs tumble from the speakers leaving a trail of carefree gems scattered in their wake. FULL REVIEW

PUBLIC IMAGE LTD | THIS IS PIL

The return of John Lydon and his band of merry men and what a welcome return with this dub heavy excursion into indie, post punk, industrial rhythms and rhymes.

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE | NOTHING’S GONNA CHANGE THE WAY YOU FEEL ABOUT ME NOW

Earle is now beginning to expand his sound, taking it into Memphis soul territory with horns aplenty and a bigger band sound to match his outstanding country and folk songwriting abilities. FULL REVIEW

CHARLIE HORSE | I HOPE I’M NOT A MONSTER

A record from Sydney’s Blue Mountains that takes strong and sultry country rock vocals and marries them to some Peter Buck and Neil Young guitar anthems in waiting. FULL REVIEW

VCMG | SSSS

Who’d have thought original Depeche Moders Martin Gore and Vince Clarke would collaborate again/ They did and the results were surprisingly dark and fun on this techno collision between two stalwarts of modern electronic pop music. FULL REVIEW

ALBUM REVIEW: Father John Misty | Fear Fun

by Chris Familton

Many will know Josh Tillman as the ex drummer for Fleet Foxes but for those who have followed his solo work over seven albums of stark folk music will know him better as a fine purveyor of intimate and emotional songwriting in the vein of Will Oldham, Vic Chesnutt and Damien Jurado. Now Tillman has taken lead from Oldham (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) and taken on the moniker Father John Misty, changed tack with his music and as a result delivered an album brimming with humour, melodies and bristling with personality.

The first single Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings makes a clear statement about Tillman’s change in style. This is a shift from introspection to maximalist and outward looking music. The drums are splashy and reverb-laden with Tillman singing boldly and full chested. His voice works in the same way as those of his fellow travelers in Fleet Foxes with that mix of folk, sweet indie and americana, with a choral quality that always sounds like he is singing in a large empty church, the notes reaching for the rafters.

The bountiful melodic richness on the album is one of the best things about it with the 70s West Coast songwriter boom playing a big part in shaping the way Tillman approaches his vocals. Well You Can Do It Without Me has a distinct Harry Nilsson vibe complete with whistling and the obvious influence of Nilsson pops up at numerous points throughout the record.

Nancy From Now On bears a striking resemblance to the recently feted John Grant, another who is capable of delivering wicked lines like ‘Pour me another drink and punch me in the face, you can call me Nancy’. That streak of dark wit helps Fear Fun avoid becoming too serious and as seen by his performance of Only Son Of The Ladiesman on Letterman, Father John Misty has allowed Tillman to embrace and celebrate sly humour in his songwriting that was previously absent or well hidden.

Listening to Fear Fun also brings to mind the work of Grant Lee Phillips, another singer capable of gorgeous falsetto melodies that complement the grainier lower levels of his register which Tillman utilises on the americana shuffle of I’m Writing A Novel. Both singers also share an obvious love for folk, gospel and country music without settling into cliched rehashes of either genre.

The production and musical contribution from Laurel Canyon ‘man of the moment’ Jonathan Wilson is crucial in the success and downright fun of the album. He has given Tillman a wonderful warm sound that harks back to classic analog recordings from the 70s, judicially using piano, guitar, violin and percussion only where it is needed. He has allowed space in the songs for all the notes to hang in the air and interact with very little clutter or over production.

it will be interesting to see if this Tillman sees this new direction as a permanent vehicle for his music or if he will continue to release stark, folk styled songs under his own name. Either way the listener is rewarded handsomely with Father John Misty’s Fear Fun, an album of joyful, celebratory sounding music with hooks aplenty and a clever thread of dark humour woven into it.

 this review was first published on FasterLouder

NEWS: First round of Splendour in the Grass sideshows announced

The wealth of talent appearing at this year’s already sold out Splendour in the Grass festival has now begun spilling over into sideshows. The first round features the long awaited return of The Afghan Whigs as well as headline gigs from Youth Lagoon and Django Django. Check the details below for all the shows.

THE AFGHAN WHIGS

WEDNESDAY JULY 25 – THE HI-FI, MELBOURNE

Tickets from: thehifi.com.au or ph: 1300-THEHIFI (843 443)

THURSDAY JULY 26 – THE FACTORY THEATRE, SYDNEY

Tickets from: factorytheatre.com.au or ph: 02 9550 3666

 

BAND OF SKULLS

THURSDAY JULY 26 – THE CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE

Tickets from: cornerhotel.com or ph: 03 9427 9198

FRIDAY JULY 27 – THE FACTORY THEATRE, SYDNEY

Tickets from: factorytheatre.com.au or ph: 02 9550 3666

 

COMMUNION: MICHAEL KIWANUKA with BEN HOWARD

TUESDAY JULY 24 – THE FACTORY THEATRE, SYDNEY

Tickets from: factorytheatre.com.au or ph: 02 9550 3666

WEDNESDAY JULY 25 – THE CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE

Tickets from: cornerhotel.com or ph: 03 9427 9198

 

DJANGO DJANGO with THE CAST OF CHEERS

TUESDAY JULY 31 – THE CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE

Tickets from: cornerhotel.com or ph: 03 9427 9198

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 1 – OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY

Tickets from: oxfordartfactory.com or ph:1300 GET TIX (438 849)

 

HOWLER with ZULU WINTER

TUESDAY JULY 24 – THE CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE

Tickets from: cornerhotel.com or ph: 03 9427 9198

WEDNESDAY JULY 25 – OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY

Tickets from: oxfordartfactory.com or ph: 1300 GET TIX (438 849)

 

FRIENDS

WEDNESDAY JULY 25 – NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE

Tickets from: northcotesocialclub.com or ph: 1300 724 867

THURSDAY JULY 26 – THE STANDARD, SYDNEY

Tickets from: wearethestandard.com.au or ph: 1300 GET TIX (438 849)

 

ELECTRIC GUEST 

TUESDAY JULY 31 – OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY

Tickets from: oxfordartfactory.com or ph: 1300 GET TIX (438 849)

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 1 – NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE

Tickets from: northcotesocialclub.com or ph: 1300 724 867

 

FATHER JOHN MISTY

FRIDAY JULY 27 – OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY

Tickets from: oxfordartfactory.com or ph: 1300 GET TIX (438 849)

SATURDAY JULY 28 – THE CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE

Tickets from: cornerhotel.com or ph: 03 9427 9198

 

YOUTH LAGOON

SATURDAY JULY 28 – THE FACTORY THEATRE, SYDNEY

Tickets from: factorytheatre.com.au or ph: 02 9550 3666

SUNDAY JULY 29 – THE CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE

Tickets from: cornerhotel.com or ph: 03 9427 9198