Josh Tillman left his stint as drummer for Fleet Foxes earlier this year with a wry prediction. “Back into the gaping maw of obscurity I go,” Tillman wrote on his Tumblr page. That was an awfully insecure assertion for a guy whose new album is as righteous as “Fear Fun.” As Father John Misty, Tillman has resurfaced as a cosmic cowboy who probably would have been drinking buddies with Gram Parsons and Harry Nilsson. Tillman had released solo records before joining Fleet Foxes in 2008, but none of them was as vivid as his latest. There’s an old-school charm to the way Tillman tempers ’70s outlaw country with modern indie rock. Much of “Fear Fun” is cast in the shadow of Los Angeles and all its trappings – both as a muse and a reason to get the hell out of there. There’s a glimmer of the Foxes’ celestial folk in “O I Long to Feel Your Arms Around Me.” Mostly, though, Tillman rides off into his own vision of a psychedelic California sunset. (Out now)
ESSENTIAL “I’m Writing a Novel”
Father John Misty performs at Brighton Music Hall on May 16.