I first discovered Father John Misty following the release of his sophomore album, titled I Love You, Honeybear, in 2015. As a freshman on my second semester of college taking introductory sociology courses and learning about the evils of textbook rental prices I was drawn to Father John Misty’s angry and disillusioned yet tender criticism of culture, religion, and love. However, I had many questions such as “Had Father John Misty been ordained?” – Sadly, he was not in fact a real priest and his real name was Josh Tillman.
Tillman was born in the suburbs of Rockville, Maryland to a family of Evangelical Christians, from which he draws much of his inspiration. As a teenager Tillman was banned from listening to secular music which led him to discover Bob Dylan, who was considered a Christian artist. At the age of twenty one Tillman fled Maryland and settled in Seattle where he began making music and joined indie folk band Fleet Foxes as a drummer in 2008. Tillman, however, was unfulfilled by his role as a drummer and decided to follow the singer/songwriter path in 2012.
Tillman has since managed to release two records, Fear Fun and I Love You, Honeybear, and to be featured on Beyoncé’s Lemonade playing an airhorn. (Misty joked about this on twitter.)
Make sure to catch him at Free Press Summer Fest.