When Joshua Tillman quit his temporary job as drummer for Fleet Foxes and went back to his old career as a singer-songwriter – he also created a new persona: Father John Misty.
The persona is multi-purpose.
On one level it’s simply a more memorable moniker than J. Tillman – under which he’d already made half a dozen solo albums prior to his Fleet Foxes stint – none of which had a particularly wide impact.
With its touch of religious parody it also gives advance warning of the semi-satirical humour that laces Tillman’s songs.
Plus it always provides him with an alibi should he ever be taken to task for the more outrageous aspects of his work; the bleak nihilism that underscored last year’s Pure Comedy for instance.
That wasn’t me he could always say – that was Father John.