Joshua Tillman, better known as Father John Misty, is an American singer-songwriter known for popular songs including “Real Love Baby,” “Chateau Lobby #4” and “Mr. Tillman.” Tonight, Tillman brings the final leg of his North American tour to The Lyric Oxford.
Although he released two solo albums in 2006, Tillman first made a proper name for himself by drumming for indie-folk rock bands Saxon Shore and Fleet Foxes. Tillman adopted the pseudonym “Father John Misty” in 2012 and released the albums “Fear Fun,” “I Love You, Honeybear,” “Pure Comedy” and, most recently, “God’s Favorite Customer.”
Tillman’s music is known to encompass languidly beautiful portraits of love, loss and life in general, while using psychedelic images, radiant colors and humorous lyrics.
In the past few years, Tillman has risen to popularity among fans of indie acts. As a result, many Ole Miss students have expressed enthusiasm for his arrival in Oxford. Around 253 people have said they’re “going” to the event on Facebook.
Varad Mahajan, a freshman political science major, is a new fan and said that Tillman’s “gloomy and folk-inspired tunes” are going to create an interesting atmosphere in the Lyric on Wednesday.
“Although I haven’t been familiar with Father John Misty’s music for long, I am looking forward to the atmosphere the concert is sure to bring,” Mahajan said. “I’ve heard that the event is going to be a super low-key affair. Every student needs a laid-back time right now in the time of changing seasons and difficult midterms.”
Other students who plan to attend the concert are longtime fans.
“I’ve been listening to Father John Misty since I was in my early teens,” sophomore nursing major Jewel Hinton said. “His music has introduced me to the plethora of alternative and indie subgenres the music industry has to offer. I’m so thrilled that my musical experience is coming full circle when he performs this week.”
Tillman’s latest album, “God’s Favorite Customer,” which was constructed while he lived in a hotel for six weeks, incorporates commentary about politics, environmental issues and social problems. He’ll likely center his setlist Wednesday night around these more current songs.
Jarret Owen, a freshman chemistry major, said that because of the current political climate, music such as Tillman’s is what the U.S. needs right now.
“A performance by an inspirationally pacifistic artist is the perfect opportunity for a community of citizens of all backgrounds to come together as one,” Owen said. “Father John Misty’s music gives a hope and a revolution of sorts to the ever-changing society within the world of music and the world of politics.”
This show will mark Tillman’s first time playing in Oxford. Junior biochemistry major Peggy McCluggage said she knows many people who’ve wanted Tillman to play in Oxford for a long time. She said it seems like The Lyric is listening to students by bringing Tillman.
“(Tillman’s) newest album, ‘God’s Favorite Customer,’ immediately gives listeners such intense feelings of nostalgia that I’ve never heard on an album before,” McCluggage said. “Songs like ‘Date Night’ have a variety of instrumental styles and slightly humorous aspects encompassed within its few minutes of playtime. I think (The Lyric) is really trying to appeal to the students’ desires.”