In 2012, following a stint with indie folk rockers Fleet Foxes, Josh Tillman released the album Fear Fun—his eighth solo album but the first under the name Father John Misty—and it marked a notable departure in his austere style of writing. A review in Pitchforksaid, “He’s finally shaken that lonesome, somber tone, and these songs sound all the better for it: gregarious, engaging, even funny.” Tillman has released two more acclaimed albums as Father John Misty: I Love You Honeybear in 2015 and last year’s Pure Comedy, “a sprawling, incisive, exasperating, hilarious, and yes, petulant look at modern life” (New York Times). All Music says he’s now “a postmodern troubadour, halfway between a song poet and a baroque craftsman. But where his antecedents (and clear influences) Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman sculpted their music and words, Tillman isn’t quite so restrained.”
Jenny Lewis is “a kind of indie goddess, a stylish performer who defies genre and salts her songs with a sly and off-kilter intelligence,” Jeff Himmelman wrote in a 2014 profile for the New York Times Magazine. An accomplished child actor, Lewis formed the band Rilo Kelly with fellow actor Richard Sennett. She joined Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard in a side project called Postal Service, selling more than a million copies of their first recording. But it was Lewis’s first solo album that “established her as a formidable singer-songwriter in her own right,” says All Music. Lewis directed a video for her song “Just One of the Guys” from her 2014 album The Voyager that features her pals Kirsten Stewart, Brie Larson, and Anne Hathaway and has been viewed 6 million times on YouTube.