Talking to Josh Tillman, who will perform as the subversive folk singer Father John Misty at this year's Coachella, is not like talking to other people. "The function of art is very different from the function of some kind of Hegelian prescription for decent civilian living," he begins, winding himself up for what becomes a series of pretty riveting rants. "I'm not creating an instruction manual for decency. I'm trying my best to give some oxygen to my own experiences, good or bad."
One would expect this kind of talk from the man behind Father John Misty's second record, I Love You, Honeybear. The critically exalted album, which debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard 200, is a careening, psychologically unhinged concept record, set in louche Los Angeles, about the depravities and ecstasies of love, inspired by his relationship with his wife, photographer Emma Tillman. "I will totally admit that there are disgusting things on this album," he says. "I mean, calling Emma a blowup doll, from a social perspective, is fairly heinous. But you have to believe me -- that song is just about major confusion and hypocrisy. Those are just the kinds of compliments that a jealous, impotent man has to offer."