If you’ve ever seen an episode of the cult-favorite sketch show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, you’d know that Tim Heidecker is no stranger to the surreal. Though he’s most widely known for his work as a comedian, Heidecker been making and releasing both serious and comedic music intermittently for the better part of a decade.
His first full-length album, In Glendale, debuted on Jagjaguwar imprint Rado Records in 2016, and was followed by Too Dumb For Suicide: Tim Heidecker’s Trump Songs in 2017. His sophomore effort (released on Jagjaguwar Records) is a collection of songs about 45 that are more black comedy than parody, a tonal shift from the more personal In Glendale. He followed up Trump Songs with a 2018 EP, Another Year in Hell: Collected Songs from 2018, which includes tracks titled “Ballad of ICE Agent Ray” and “Ballad of the Incel Man”.
Of course, Heidecker’s collection of political parody/protest songs became a massive source of inflammation for the majority of Twitter users with an American flag in their username. MAGA trolls from far and wide crawled out from their digital caves to attack Heidecker, even going so far as to suggest Heidecker’s wife had ended their relationship.
The fake news ended up fueling Heidecker’s latest work, What The Brokenhearted Do…, a concept album that posits the alternate reality created by rabid internet trolls. About the album, Heidecker told Consequence of Sound that he “imagined himself going through an awful divorce and let the hits flow.“
His first single, “When I Get Up,” finds him re-uniting with producer Jonathan Rado in a jaunty-sounding tune that belies the (very) dark lyrics. Heidecker croons about crushing post-breakup depression to a toe-tapping beat, infusing his brand of sometimes-bleak absurdist comedy into an otherwise weighty song.
The “When I Get Up” video takes it a step further—instead of clobbering us over the head with an act-out of the album’s falsified narrative, we see Heidecker explaining the album’s concept and the pitch for the single itself. The music video within a music video, if you can call it that, is brilliant. Heidecker transforms the self-seriousness of industry-insider irony into something a little more weird—his specialty.
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