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Josh Tillman
singer-songwriter tillman beyoncé

1. Introduction

Joshua Michael Tillman[1] (born May 3, 1981), also known as Father John Misty and previously J. Tillman, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer.[2]

Maintaining a steady output of solo recordings since 2004,[3] Tillman had been a member of or toured with Demon Hunter, Saxon Shore, Fleet Foxes, Jeffertitti's Nile,[4] Pearly Gate Music,[5] Siberian,[6] Har Mar Superstar,[7] Poor Moon,[8] Low Hums, Jonathan Wilson,[9] and has toured extensively with Pacific Northwest artists Damien Jurado, Jesse Sykes, and David Bazan.[10][11]

He has also made contributions to albums by popular artists, including Beyoncé,[12] Lady Gaga,[13] Kid Cudi,[14] and Post Malone and has produced one album for Matthew Daniel Siskin, known as Gambles.[15]

2. Early Life

Tillman grew up in an Evangelical Christian household in Rockville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.[16][17] He is the son of Barbara and I.C. Tillman, an engineer at Hewlett-Packard, who met at a Christian youth group.[16] His mother was raised in Ethiopia, where her own parents were missionaries.[18] The oldest of four children, he has a brother and two sisters.[19] Before Tillman settled on a career as a musician, he briefly had ambitions of becoming a pastor because of the performance aspect[20] when he was approximately six years old.[21] He comments that his parents focused on the spiritual aspects of his upbringing, which he describes as "culturally oppressive". They were estranged for many years, but they reconciled.[16][20] After learning drums at a young age, Tillman learned guitar when he was 12.[20]

Tillman was raised in a Baptist church, attended an Episcopal elementary school, then a Pentecostal Messianic day school.[22] Tillman said he was naive when he was growing up because there was almost no cultural influence and no secular music allowed. Around the age of 17, there were new stipulations from his parents – he was allowed to listen to secular music that had a "spiritual theme". For this reason, his early purchases included albums like Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming as he was able to establish that Dylan was classified as a "Christian artist".[16]

3. Career

3.1. Early Career and Fleet Foxes (2004–2012)

After attending Nyack College in New York for a year,[23][24] Tillman moved to Seattle when he was 21.[16] He found a job there working at a bakery, which allowed him to record at night before his 4:30 am shift began. A demo he made eventually found its way to Seattle singer and songwriter Damien Jurado. A year later Tillman started opening for Jurado.[25] At shows Tillman would distribute CD-R copies of songs that would later become his album I Will Return. During the tour, he also struck up a friendship with Eric Fisher, who produced another CD-R album, Long May You Run. Both albums were later released on Keep Recordings.[26] Tillman and Jurado both later signed on for a U.S. tour with Richard Buckner.[24]

In 2006, the independent label Fargo Records released Tillman's first properly distributed solo album, Minor Works, and reissued I Will Return and Long May You Run as a two-disc set the same year. In 2007, Yer Bird Records released his more elaborately arranged fourth album, Cancer and Delirium.[24]

After signing to independent record label Western Vinyl, Tillman released two albums in 2009, Vacilando Territory Blues and Year in the Kingdom.[25] Tillman said he wrote the title track of Vacilando Territory Blues to describe imagery he associates with his move to Seattle. His brother Zach subsequently moved there as well[20] and is now in the musical group Pearly Gate Music.[27] The following year Tillman released Singing Ax.[25]

In 2008, Tillman joined Seattle folk rock band Fleet Foxes as their drummer.[22]

After extensive touring with Fleet Foxes, promoting their album Helplessness Blues, Tillman played his final show with the band in Tokyo on January 20, 2012.[28]

3.2. Father John Misty Moniker and Fear Fun (2012–2015)

Father John Misty performing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2013.

Tillman released the album Fear Fun under his new moniker Father John Misty on May 1, 2012.[29] A couple of months prior to the release of the album a video was released for the song "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" starring Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza. The album was a dramatic departure from any of Tillman's prior releases.[30]

As Father John Misty, Tillman was featured on Kid Cudi's 2013 album Indicud.[31]

Father John Misty performing at the Utopia Fest in 2014.

Tillman wrote an essay about Damien Jurado's recording, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son (Secretly Canadian, 2014).[32] He also wrote the soundtrack for a short film called The History of Caves, directed by his wife, filmmaker Emma Elizabeth Tillman.[33][34]

The "Limited Run Promotional Poster" was available at the artist's website, and promoted a purported release called New Winter, described as a "Christmas Neu-Jazz Double Album", and quoted several paradoxes and reviews (for example, from The Wall Street Journal , calling it the "new standard by which all seasonal music must now be measured", or from Spin, giving the release 10 out of 10 points and calling it "[e]ssential year-round [sic] listening"). The poster text further states that the release will be sold as "compact disc" as well as "[l]imited edition prismatic hologram 6xLP on merlot and emerald semi-translucent 180 gram vinyl with original alternate-side etchings by Josh Tillman available till supplies last". The poster names five songs that are part of the track list: "Gesture I: Inoculation (Mother And Child)", "Gesture II: Feast Of Spirits", "Anacrusis Future Seed", "Naked Fire/The Fifth Season" and "Gemini".[35]

3.3. I Love You, Honeybear (2015–2016)

Father John Misty performing at Fairgrounds Festival in December 2015.

The album I Love You, Honeybear was released in February 2015 to widespread acclaim. According to Tillman, it is a concept album about himself and his personal life.[36][37]

Tillman made headlines by covering Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" and "Welcome to New York" in 2015. He claimed to have never listened to the artist prior to recording the covers. This was done in parody of Ryan Adams, who had released his own version of Swift's 1989, featuring covers of every song.[38]

Tillman released a new song entitled "Real Love Baby" on SoundCloud on May 19, 2016.[39]

Tillman appeared on the song "Saturday Night Inside Out" on The Avalanches' second studio album Wildflower, which was released on July 1, 2016.

3.4. Pure Comedy and God's Favorite Customer (2016–Present)

Tillman gained media attention on July 22, 2016, after walking off stage at XPoNential Music Festival in Camden, New Jersey, after twenty minutes into his planned fifty-minute performance.[40] Instead of performing his setlist, Tillman walked out and asked, "What the fuck is going on?"[41] He then talked for six minutes about the "numbing" role entertainment plays in our lives and how "stupidity just fucking runs the world because entertainment is stupid." When the audience applauded him he asked them not to and responded by saying, "Maybe just take a moment to be really fucking profoundly sad."[42] He finally played a thirteen-minute piece from his upcoming album Pure Comedy called "Leaving LA" which references the frustrations he spoke of during his speech. Tillman then covered Leonard Cohen's "Bird on the Wire" before telling the crowd he loved them and walked off the stage, cutting his performance short.[43] The following day, Tillman explained his performance in an Instagram post, in which he called Donald Trump's speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention a "demonic clown pageant coronation of our next potential Idiot King", which took place the night before Tillman's performance.

Tillman released a cover of "Trump's Private Pilot", a song written by Tim Heidecker, on SoundCloud on November 7, 2016.[44] On November 22, 2016, Tillman released a new song entitled "Holy Hell" on SoundCloud.[45]

On January 23, 2017, the single "Pure Comedy" was released in the form of a music video and Tillman announced the arrival of his album Pure Comedy released on April 7, 2017. Through this album, he externalizes the stereotypical character of Father John Misty that he developed through the two previous albums to prevent himself from being constricted to the character's image, using his personhood and experiences to expose his outlook on life.[46] The second single released off of Pure Comedy, "Two Wildly Different Perspectives", was released with another music video on January 30, 2017.[47] The third single released was "Ballad of the Dying Man" on February 1, 2017.[48] The fourth single, "Total Entertainment Forever", was released on the night it was performed on Saturday Night Live on March 4, 2017.[49]

Pure Comedy was released on April 7, 2017. The Pure Comedy world tour began in April 2017 and continued into early 2018.[50]

During this tour, Tillman mixed the tracks for his next album produced with Jonathan Rado, revealing potential song titles "Mr. Tillman, Please Exit the Lobby" (later shortened to "Mr. Tillman"), "Ouch, I'm Drowning", "Well, We're Only People and There's Nothing Much We Can Do About It", and "Dum Dum Blues". The album explores heartache and was written during a six-week period where Tillman was living in a hotel.[51]

Tillman released the lead single, "Mr. Tillman," from God's Favorite Customer on February 20, 2018.[52] The album was announced on April 18, and was released on June 1. Its track listing was shared, alongside two further songs, "Disappointing Diamonds Are The Rarest Of Them All" and "Just Dumb Enough to Try".[53]

British screenwriter and film producer Drew Pearce, who had previously directed the music video for "The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apartment," sought out Tillman for his directorial debut Hotel Artemis, when he wanted to cast a musician. Tillman has a small role in the film as a bank robber, and has said that his character "gets his head blown off within, like, 30 seconds."[54] Tillman also contributed to the soundtrack of Hotel Artemis with the song "Gilded Cage," which was released on June 8, 2018, the same day as the film.[55]

4. Personal Life

Tillman is married to photographer Emma Elizabeth Tillman. They met in Los Angeles at the Laurel Canyon Country Store and were married in Big Sur.[56] They had lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, but have returned to Los Angeles.[57] Tillman had previously lived in Seattle for several years.[22] She has taken photographs for Father John Misty albums.

Tillman was raised in an Evangelical Christian household, he now has more atheist and agnostic leanings, openly criticizing religion in many of his songs.[58]

Tillman has also been open about his battle with depression. In 2017 he went through what was described as a “nervous breakdown”, resulting in him staying in a hotel for about two months. His album God's Favorite Customer arose from the experience.[59]

5. Discography

Studio albums

as J. Tillman

  • Untitled No. 1 (2003)
  • I Will Return (2004)
  • Long May You Run, J. Tillman (2006)
  • Minor Works (2006)
  • Cancer and Delirium (2007)
  • Vacilando Territory Blues (2009)
  • Year in the Kingdom (2009)
  • Singing Ax (2010)

as Father John Misty

  • Fear Fun (2012)
  • I Love You, Honeybear (2015)
  • Pure Comedy (2017)
  • God's Favorite Customer (2018)

with Fleet Foxes

  • Helplessness Blues (2011)

with Saxon Shore

  • Be a Bright Blue (2002)
  • Four Months of Darkness (2003)

6. Awards and Nominations

6.1. A2IM Libera Awards

|- | rowspan="2"|2015 | Himself | Hardworking Artist of the Year | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |- | rowspan="2"|I Love You, Honeybear | Album of the Year | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |- | 2016 | rowspan="2"|Creative Packaging Award | style="background: #99FF99; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2"|Won |- | rowspan="3"|2018 | rowspan="2"|Pure Comedy | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |- | Album of the Year | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |- | Himself | Best Live Act | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |}

6.2. Berlin Music Video Awards

The Berlin Music Video Awards (BMVAs) are an annual festival that puts filmmakers and the art behind music videos in the spotlight. |- | rowspan=2|2017 | rowspan=2|"Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution" | Best Music Video | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |- | Best Director | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |}

6.3. Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States. Josh received four nominations.[60][61]

6.4. mtvU Woodie Awards

|- | 2013 | "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings / Drive" | Best Video Woodie | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |}

6.5. NME Awards

|- | 2018 | Himself | Best International Solo Artist | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |}

6.6. Rober Awards Music poll

|- | 2012 | rowspan=4|Himself | Best Songwriter | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |- | rowspan=2|2015 | Best Male Artist | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |- | rowspan=2|Best Songwriter | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |- | 2017 | style="background: #99FF99; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2"|Won |}

6.7. Sweden GAFFA Awards

Delivered since 2010, the GAFFA Awards (Swedish: GAFFA Priset) are a Swedish award that rewards popular music awarded by the magazine of the same name.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2019 Himself Best Foreign Solo Act Nominated [62]
God's Favorite Customer Best International Album Nominated

6.8. UK Music Video Awards

The UK Music Video Awards is an annual award ceremony founded in 2008 to recognise creativity, technical excellence and innovation in music videos and moving images for music.[63] Tillman has received one award from two nominations.

|- | rowspan="2" | 2017 | rowspan="2" | "Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution" | Best Rock/Indie Video – International | style="background: #99FF99; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2"|Won |- | Best Animation | style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated |}

Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. "Father John Misty: Misty Mountain Hop". Magnet Magazine. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  2. "J. Tillman (as Father John Misty) announces new solo album". Albino Rhino. January 10, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  3. "Josh Tillman Biography". Artist Direct. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  4. "Jeffertitti's Nile – No One – Q MagazineQ Magazine". Archived from the original on April 15, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  5. Lester, Paul (May 4, 2010). "Pearly Gate Music (No 778)". The Guardian. Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  6. Levin, Hannah. "Rocka Rolla". Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  7. "Har Mar Superstar with Josh Tillman at Satellite – Photos & Show Review – April 25, 2013". Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  8. "Poor Moon: Good dancers on lonely streets – What's Up! Magazine". Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  9. "Jonathan Wilson's ‘Fanfare’ is the most important album of 2013". October 28, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  10. "J. Tillman". thesixtyone. September 22, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  11. Alt-Gramma. "Interview with Josh Tillman" (blog). Speed of Dark. Archived from the original on April 30, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  12. Camp, Zoe. "Father John Misty Tells Two Stories About Beyoncé Collaboration: One Real, One Fake". Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  13. Phillips, Amy. "Lady Gaga Announces New Album Joanne". Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  14. Muller, Marissa G.. "Father John Misty Talks New Album, Doing Mushrooms with Kid Cudi and his TV Pilot". MTV. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  15. "Gambles Shares Father John Misty-Produced Song "Forever We'll Be" – The Culture Files". 
  16. Maron, Marc (December 30, 2013). "Episode 457 – Father John Misty" (podcast). WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  17. "Father John Misty's 'I Love You, Honeybear' Out February 10th". Sub Pop. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  18. Paumgarten, Nick (June 19, 2017). "Father John Misty's Quest to Explain Himself". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 27, 2019. 
  19. Stiles, Blair (June 15, 2013). "Concert review: Crowd meets the palm of Father John Misty's hand (with Pure Bathing Culture) at a sold-out Firebird, Friday, June 14". KDHX. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  20. Down, Lauren (March 9, 2009). "TLOBF Interview :: J. Tillman". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved January 16, 2013. 
  21. "Rockpalast Father John Misty Interview Haldern Pop Festival WDR" (video). West Deutscher Rundfunk. August 18, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  22. Ducker, George (January 22, 2009). "Introspection pays: Sad folk ballads of J. Tillman". Los Angeles Times (Pop & Hiss – The L.A. Times Music Blog). Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  23. Frank, Aaron (May 3, 2012). "Father John Misty Just Quit Fleet Foxes: We Get High in His Van". L.A. Weekly. 
  24. "About J. Tillman – J. Tillman Career". CMT. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  25. "J. Tillman". Western Vinyl. April 27, 2009. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  26. "J. Tillman – Discount Priced CDs". J Tillman Music. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  27. "Pearly Gate Music". 
  28. Hogan, Marc (January 20, 2012). "Fleet Foxes Lose One Beard: J. Tillman Exits Band". Spin. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  29. "Father John Misty Website – Very Important Info!". Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  30. Zabrey, Paula. "Fear Fun By Father John Misty". Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  31. Rayner, Caroline. "J. Tillman reborn as Father John Misty, releases brooding new album Fear Fun on Sub Pop – Music News – Releases". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  32. McGovern, Kyle (October 16, 2013). "Read Father John Misty's Incredible Essay About Damien Jurado's New Album". Spin. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  33. Brown, Harley (October 29, 2013). "Josh Tillman Talks Film Score, New Father John Misty Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  34. Battan, Carrie (November 25, 2013). "Stream Father John Misty's Soundtrack for The History of Caves" (SoundCloud). Pitchfork. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  35. "'New Winter' Christmas Neu-Jazz Double Album Promotional POSTER". Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  36. "Sub Pop Records : Father John Misty : I Love You, Honeybear". Sub Pop. February 10, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  37. Samadder, Rhik (January 31, 2015). "Father John Misty: ‘I just wanted to write about love without bullshitting’". The Guardian. 
  38. "Father John Misty Finally Explains Taylor Swift Covers & Her Team's Reaction". Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  39. Minsker, Evan (May 19, 2016). "Father John Misty Shares 'Real Love Baby': Listen". Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  40. Young, Alex (July 23, 2016). "Father John Misty went full troll mode for his set at Philadelphia's XPN Festival". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  41. DeLuca, Dan (July 23, 2016). "Father John Misty, upending expectations at Xponential Fest". Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  42. Minsker, Evan (July 23, 2016). "Father John Misty Explains 'Obscenely Vulnerable' Festival Performance". Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  43. Minsker, Evan (July 23, 2016). "Father John Misty Cuts Festival Set Short After Lecture About "Evil": Watch". Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  44. "Trump's Private Pilot". Retrieved November 24, 2016. 
  45. "Holy Hell". Retrieved November 24, 2016. 
  46. "The World According to Father John Misty". 
  47. "Father John Misty Shares Video for Somber Song 'Two Wildly Different Perspectives'". 
  48. "New Music: Father John Misty – "Ballad of the Dying Man"". 
  49. "Father John Misty references Taylor Swift in new song, 'Total Entertainment Forever'". 
  50. "Father John Misty Plots Expansive 'Pure Comedy' World Tour". Rolling Stone. 
  51. "Father John Misty reveals the secrets of his next album in the new issue of Uncut – Uncut". Uncut. November 16, 2017. 
  52. "Hear Father John Misty Battle a Hotel Clerk in New Song 'Mr. Tillman'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 3, 2018. 
  53. "God's Favorite Customer by Father John Misty". iTunes Store. June 1, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2018. 
  54. Monroe, Jazz; Kim, Michelle (September 13, 2017). "Father John Misty Filmed an Action Movie". Retrieved June 6, 2018. 
  55. Castro-Cota, Isabella (June 6, 2018). "Father John Misty Will Cameo in Hotel Artemis Soundtrack and Film". Spin. Retrieved June 6, 2018. 
  56. Bevan, David (February 5, 2015). "Father John Misty: How to Make Love". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  57. KEXP (August 25, 2015). "Father John Misty – Full Performance (Live on KEXP)". Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  58. Doyle, Patrick; Doyle, Patrick (April 18, 2016). "Father John Misty Talks Marriage, Seeing Taylor Swift on LSD". 
  59. Ingegneri, Katie (June 1, 2018). "Misty's Lost Weekend: The Crushing Beauty of "God’s Favorite Customer"". 
  60. "GRAMMY Award Results for Father John Misty". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 3, 2018. 
  61. "GRAMMY Award Results for Josh Tillman". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 3, 2018. 
  62. "GAFFApriset 2019 – här är artisterna som ligger bäst till" (in Swedish). GAFFA (Sweden). 
  63. "About us". UK Music Video Awards. Archived from the original on September 21, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
Name: Josh Tillman
Born: May 1981
Rockville, Maryland, U.S.
Titles: Singer-songwriter Musician Record producer
Affiliation: Unknown
Honor: Unknown
Subjects: Others
Contributor MDPI registered users' name will be linked to their SciProfiles pages. To register with us, please refer to :
View Times: 786
Entry Collection: HandWiki
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Update Date: 15 Nov 2022
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