Tim Heidecker has released a new song, “Fear of Death,” the title track from his upcoming album, which the comedian made with a band featuring Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering, the Lemon Twigs’ Brian and Michael D’Addario and more. Fear of Death arrives September 25th on Spacebomb Records.
“Fear of Death” is a brisk rocker that sounds like it was plucked straight out of Seventies Southern California. Despite its rollicking sound, the song’s lyrics — as the title suggests — are a bit more morbid, as Heidecker parses the point of living when the end is always nigh, but ultimately settles firmly on the side of life: “Fear of death/Is keeping me alive,” he sings on the hook, with Mering providing harmony. The song arrives with a video of Heidecker, Mering and musicians Eliana Athayde, Josh Adams and Mike Bloom performing “Fear of Death” in the studio.
Fear of Death follows Heidecker’s 2019 album, What the Brokenhearted Do… and it’s being billed not as a comedy record but “a Serious Album about Serious Topics — a doomed future, abandoning life in the city and the inevitability of death.” (What the Brokenhearted Do… was also about serious topics, mainly divorce and heartbreak, although it was a tongue-in-cheek concept album inspired by fake internet rumors that Heidecker’s wife had left him.)
“I didn’t know that this record was going to be so focused on death when I was writing it,” Heidecker said of his new album in a statement. “It took a minute for me to stand back and look at what I was talking about to realize that, yes, I am now a middle-aged man and my subconscious is screaming at me: ‘You are getting old, dude! You are not going to live forever! Put down that cheeseburger!’”
Along with Mering and the D’Addarios, Heidecker recorded Fear of Death with Drew Erickson and Jonathan Rado, while Spacebomb’s Trey Pollard handled the string arrangements. Heidecker and Mering first performed together in 2019, and the comedian later hosted the musician on his Office Hours Live podcast. Following a Weyes Blood release show last year, Erickson — a regular Weyes Blood collaborator — suggested the three go into the studio together.
“This record is a dream come true for me,” Heidecker said. “I got to work with some of the best, and nicest, musicians in town who helped me take some shabby, simple tunes and turn them into something I’m really proud of.”