"Esoteric" is the first word that comes to mind when describing Josh Tillman, the mystic muse behind Father John Misty. Inspiration for his 2012 album, Fear Fun, struck via a psychedelic lightning bolt, giving Tillman the courage to be (as clichéd as it sounds) himself. That meant embracing both his sarcastic and existentialist core, resulting in an album that feels at once honest and surreal, despairing, yet hopeful, all of it complemented by his anti-folk sensibilities and serene warbling.
Tillman's main fascination seems to be the vapidity of modern culture, the flaming Ferris wheel that's simultaneously repulsive and oddly attractive. It explains his move "on a lark" from Seattle to Los Angeles, during which the acoustic-driven singer-songwriter reinvented himself and wrote a novel, included in the liner notes of his record.