Tim Heidecker, a man so funny it’s easy to overlook his other talents, is releasing a new album this summer. Our first taste of What The Brokenhearted Do…, out June 7 on Jagjaguwar, is the Harry Nilsson-saluting lead single “When I Get Up,” a jaunty ode to depression and alienation. The track comes accompanied by a meta music video in which Heidecker pitches an ambitious idea for the “When I Get Up” video—needless to say, his vision doesn’t quite pan out.
What The Brokenhearted Do…, produced by Jonathan Rado (Weyes Blood, Whitney, Father John Misty) of Foxygen, finds Heidecker blending music and comedy in a way that makes his work a moving interpretive target, as is his wont. He’s spent the past couple of years inspiring alt-right outrage with his various Trump-skewering songs, from “Trump Tower” and “Trump’s Private Pilot,” collected on 2017’s Too Dumb for Suicide: Tim Heidecker’s Trump Songs, to “Ballad of The Incel Man,” which landed on last year’s Another Year In Hell: Collected Songs from 2018 EP, and “I Am a Cuck,” which Paul Simon wasn’t too keen on seeing released. The resulting pushback from various MAGA-maniacs inspired Heidecker’s new record, as a press release explains:
At some point, one of those Incel or QAnon trolls started a vicious rumor that Tim’s wife had, in fact, left him, and the rumor caught fire across certain social channels. Instead of getting pissed off, our protagonist (antagonist?) Tim Heidecker got inspired. He knows full well that here in the music biz, nothing breeds good tunes like utter heartbreak. For What The Brokenhearted Do…, Heidecker imagined himself going through an awful divorce and let the hits flow.
It’s difficult to tell how much of this is, to reference Heidecker collaborator Father John Misty, just pure comedy—it’s a bit Heidecker has deployed before, portraying “a completely shattered man crawling through the sewage pipe of divorce,” as the aforementioned presser puts it. In the “When I Get Up” video, Heidecker describes his new album as “a breakup record, kinda like a bunch of sad songs,” adding after a beat, “not autobiographical.” Sure to add to Heidecker’s sadness is the impossibility of realizing his video concept, which he describes before playing the song—an incongruously peppy, piano-driven pop tune in which he sings, “When I get up / all I wanna do is go to bed again”—for his would-be director, who at least listens to the whole thing before bringing up the budget and promptly dashing the musician’s hopes of executing his desired dance video. Heidecker, defeated, goes back to his box.
“It could be interesting to me if people are wondering whether or not this is a joke, or if they’re convinced that it’s not a joke and that’s weird for them,” Heidecker told Paste of his 2016 album In Glendale. “All that stuff seems consistent with my playbook anyway, so I’ll go with it, whichever way it goes.”
Heidecker has plenty going beyond this new album, including his current On Cinema At The Cinema Live Tour alongside Gregg Turkington, his Office Hours podcast and a fun role in one of 2019’s biggest films, Jordan Peele’s Us.
Watch the “When I Get Up” video below and find the details of What The Brokenhearted Do… further down. You can preorder the album here.
What The Brokenhearted Do… Tracklist:
02. When I Get Up
03. What The Brokenhearted Do
04. Funeral Shoes
05. I’m Not Good Enough
06. Sometimes It Happens This Way
08. Coffee’s Gone Cold
09. I Don’t Think About You (Much Anymore)
10. Finally Getting Over
11. Life’s Too Long
What The Brokenhearted Do… Album Art: