Over the previous decade, in his musical side-career away from comedy, Tim Heidecker has amassed a deep catalog of soft-rock songs about mortality and heartbreak, political dystopia and on a regular basis existentialism. And but, one of the vital poignant tracks on his newest album, Excessive College, is generally a few Neil Younger video—extra particularly, Younger’s 1993’s Unplugged efficiency of “Harvest Moon.” The story goes like this: Heidecker is a youngster in Allentown, Pennsylvania, watching MTV on a Saturday night time. Transfixed by Younger’s efficiency, he learns the tune on guitar and performs it for his mother and father. They are saying he sounds nice, however then once more, that’s what they are saying about the whole lot he does. He goes out and buys the album and feels dissatisfied by the extra elaborate studio rendition. Ultimately, he learns to understand that model, too, and consists of it on a mixture CD for a crush, who breaks up with him not lengthy after.
So far as autobiographical songwriting goes, this isn’t probably the most riveting supply materials. And as Heidecker sings it—one humdrum element at a time, with little poetic embellishment—he appears to amplify simply how bizarre the entire thing is. However there’s something profound and true about Heidecker’s journey by the previous on Excessive College, a home-recorded idea album about his adolescence. Co-produced with a backing band of Drew Erickson, Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats, and Mac DeMarco, the music glides with the reflective sheen of Nineteen Eighties singer-songwriter statements like Bruce Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love and Randy Newman’s Hassle in Paradise. With a buoyant, lived-in sound and a few of Heidecker’s warmest and most empathetic writing, every tune looks like a spiral towards some deeper fact about how we find yourself because the adults we’re.
Take, for instance, the central character in “Buddy,” a neighborhood stoner whose devolution right into a cautionary story occurs so subtly that it’s onerous to pinpoint precisely when it takes place. It’s a eulogy delivered like a campfire singalong, as Heidecker’s perspective shifts from a personality research to a second of self-interrogation: “Do you assume I allow you to down? We misplaced contact the minute I moved out of city,” he sings, sadly. Lots of the songs take comparable leaps, by no means providing a way of decision or an ethical to their tales. As an alternative, Heidecker focuses on why these open-ended childhood reminiscences have a tendency to stay with us, why we revisit them a long time later, nonetheless turning them over and retracing our steps.