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NPR Music News

Tim Heidecker, 'Buddy'

To all the vagabonds, sad sacks and ne'er-do-wells of the world: You have an ally in Tim Heidecker. For years, the multi-hyphenate comedian has served as a conduit for social outcasts, from his work with Eric Wareheim and Gregg Turkington to his starring turn in Rick Alverson's The Comedy, in which he plays a jaded hipster who finds humor in the offensive.

This sort of character has made an appearance in almost every project of his, but Heidecker has always managed to let his true personality shine through in one medium more than others: his music. His new song "Buddy" – from his upcoming album High School, out June 24 – is a heartfelt expression of empathy, directing sympathies toward a forgotten friend from his past.

Heidecker understands the plight of the "bum" – the type of person who has been rejected by the world around them – and reminisces about times lost over a light heartland-folk instrumental. "Was there more that I could do? / Do you think I let you down?" he sings without a tinge of irony in his voice. As in 2020's stellar Fear of Death, his genuine reflection makes way for beautiful songwriting.

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