Father John Misty Nails It

Father John MistyI’m aware that many of you heard the buzz about this track towards the end of last week, but I’d regret not posting such a beautiful and innovative tune on our site.  Coming your way from J. Tillman, a.k.a Father John Misty, is this glorious new single “Bored in the USA”.  It’s a tough one to pin down; the joint is clearly a singer songwriter track at its core with some ironic and “white people problems” lyrics that will easily speak to a guy like me.  Call it or define it however you will, I think it will easily be one of my tracks of the year.  Be patient, listen close, and enjoy the shear beauty.

Lots of folks online are also buzzing about the recent Letterman performance of this track so I’ll link that right here.  Definitely want to check that out if you have the time.

Let’s all mark our calendars for February 10th and the release of new album I Love You, Honeybear on Sub Pop Records.

New Tune From Father John Misty

I’m sure many of you know this, but let’s at least do our due diligence and note that Father John Misty is the official solo/side project of J. Tillman.  I get a bit hesitant to call it the guys first solo album, as some will do, but I just don’t see how a guy with a slew of recorded material under his own name will ever have a “debut” LP.  This is the first LP under the FJM name however, which goes by the name Fear Fun, and comes out May 1st on Sub Pop Records.  The songs within the album will give you a somewhat more upbeat feel from Tillman as opposed to his more recent solo work.  Until the release date, check out this new song “Nancy From Now On” and let us know what ya think.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Father-John-Misty-Nancy-From-Now-On.mp3]

Download: Father John Misty – Nancy From Now On [MP3]

New Music From J. Tillman

Let’s be honest here, J. Tillman has been doing his solo thing for a lot longer than he really became famous as the drummer for Fleet Foxes.  The guy already has 6 solo albums and is now about to put out his 7th, Singing Axe, on Western Vinyl on September 14th.  That’s pretty prolific if you’re asking me.  You’ll only be able to pick up that new one on vinyl or digital download, so that means no CDs you people that are living in 2002.  Below you’ll find the first single from the upcoming LP “Three Sisters”.  (via)

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/WV78.Three_.Sisters.mp3]

Download: J. Tillman – Three Sisters [MP3]

2009 Top 50 Albums

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Creating a Top 50 Albums list is never easy.  You have to battle with what you think the world believes, and what you truly believe in your heart, to be solid jams.  We have even more trouble because we have to three writers, all who have different ideas, and we have to make those ideas fit into a neat box.  Well, we got it done, and honestly, our criteria was based on two things: how great we thought the album was, artistically speaking, and how long we listened to it without getting bored.  That’s it. It’s fool proof; you might not like it, but it’s our list, so here it is… Read more

FT50: Songs of 2009

bestof2009cover_songsWe have to start this list off with a disclaimer.  We have three writers, all with different tastes, so the list should reflect that a little bit.  Also, these are our opinions, and by no means, are they meant to be seen as an “end all be all” to the question of what were the best songs of 2009.  That being said, we like our list quite a bit.  Sure, it’s got some expected numbers at the top, but the rest of the list is genius.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you, and the rest take you straight to youtube.  Follow the jump for full list.

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ATH Intervews: J. Tillman

jtillman_interviewWe had the incredible opportunity this week to speak with solo songwriter J. Tillman about his musical endeavors.  Mr. Tillman talks about his new solo record Year in the Kingdom and his work with indie powerhouse Fleet Foxes.  This interview should serve as a nice preview to the J. Tillman show coming up on Friday at Mohawk.  Follow the jump for full interview.

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Your Thanksgiving Break In Music

As many of you also probably take part in, we here at ATH will be taking a bit of vacation time for the Thanksgiving holiday over the next couple of days.  Of course that doesn’t mean we’re going to leave you high and dry on show recommendations so we’ll do this as a send off or Happy Holidays if you will.  So if you’re planning on staying in town for the holidays or you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (communists), here’s a few shows to check out.

Friday 11/27

J. Tillman @ Waterloo Records (5pm/free)

J. Tillman, Pearly Gate Music @ Mohawk (9pm/$10)

Neon Indian, Tunnels, Tigercity @ Stubbs indoor (9pm/$10)

SAT. 11/28

Cursive, Capgun Coup, Booher & The Turkeys @ Mohawk (8pm/$11)

Old Canes, Haunting Oboe Music, Always Already, Abby Birds @ Emos (9pm/$5 door)

MON 11/30

Unwed Sailor, Native Lights @ Mohawk inside (10pm/$5 door)

J. Tillman – Year In The Kingdom

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Rating: ★★★★★

Since 2004 J. Tillman, born Joshua Tillman, has been consistently releasing quiet, understated records on various labels in the Pacific Northwest.  These records, while all solid releases, always followed the same template: hush vocals, gently picked guitars, mournful lyrics. With the release of Year in the Kingdom something has clicked with Tillman’s formula.

Maybe it has been his tenure as drummer in the Fleet Foxes these past couple of years that has lead to this beautiful and full sounding record or maybe it has just come with age.  On Year in the Kingdom we hear a road-weary Tillman lamenting on the human condition, we are met with songs of repentance and rejoice.  This is a simple record: mostly just acoustic guitars, a banjo here and there, light percussive elements, and Tillman’s voice, prominent in the mix.  Initially having the vocals so high in the mix turned me off to the release, and I retreated back to 2007’s Cancer and Delirium, which is quieter and more restrained, but the title track on Year in the Kingdom kept pulling me back, and I’m glad it did.  On repeated listens you realize that why the vocals are so high in the mix is, perhaps, because Tillman is confident in what he has to say and doesn’t wish to hide it in flowery instrumentation.

From the theme of repentance in ‘Year in the Kingdom’ to lines that would make King Solomon blush on ‘Earthly Bodies’ to the redemptive crescendo of  ‘There is No Good In Me’, we have been given one of the most fully realized records that I have heard in years.  Robin Pecknold better thank his lucky stars that he has someone of this caliber backing him, because, frankly, J. Tillman is doing just fine on his own.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/J-Tillman-Though-I-Have-Wronged-You.mp3]

Download: J Tillman – Though I Have Wronged You [MP3]

New Tunes from J Tillman

jt J Tillman has most recently gotten a lot of notice for his participation as part of the current Fleet Foxes line-up, but this gent has a wonderful set of tunes in his closet as well.  He’s set to release a new album on September 22nd on Austin’s own Western Vinyl, and we have an unmastered peak at one of the album’s tracks.  It’s hard to find anything at fault with such an understatedly beautiful song.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/j-tillman-earthly-bodies.mp3]

Download: J Tillman – Earthly Bodies [MP3]

J Tillman – Vacilando Territory Blues

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Local Austin label, Western Vinyl, has caught hold of yet another bedroom country musician, but this time with a familiar name, at least to many. J Tillman is one of the various vocalists in last year’s adored Fleet Foxes.  On his latest release, Vacilando Territory Blues, he offers the public his take on meandering folk tunes, this time sans multiple part harmonies.

While most that are unfamiliar with Tillman’s solo work will see similarities with his other group, this is an album that sonically goes outside of the spectrum of the aforementioned group.  A noticeable difference upon first listen is that he does not seem overeager to fill all the empty space.  He allows for the presence of hollow moments, or negative space if you will.  This allows him to spend more time crafting the individual song structure, but that is the role when one chooses to go solo.

Oddly, the absence of multiple harmonies reveals one telling detail, that being that his voice might hold more strength than that other guy.  There is an element of sincerity, tinged with personal clarity, that makes his songs immediately personable to the listener.  It’s as if stepping out of the shadow allows him to find himself, and he does it through his songs.

Fans of modern alt-country and folk tunes will surely find a great deal of comfort in listening to songs like “No Occasion.”  Sure, there is a definite sense of familiarity with the acoustic styling of the song, not to mention the vocal tones, but you’d be hard tapped not to notice the force behind the song.  He uses a similar pattern throughout the album, which may be his one downfall.

As each song meanders through the album, the entirety of it all gets a little tedious.  Often it’s hard to differentiate one song from the next one, though separately they all are somewhat striking.  However, the patterns just go on and on, which can easily wear on any listener who is listening half-heartedly, allowing this album to merely seep into the background.

All in all, you’ll find comfort in the listening experience you get with J. Tillman here, though you may not fall head over heels in love.  It’s an above average piece of output, but it simply needs a little extra something to push it beyond the level where it rests.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/02-no-occasion.mp3]

Download: J Tillman – No Occasion [MP3]