Tim Kile unleashes the riff on ‘Jeremiad’
The Wild Light and Arcade Fire co-founder lets loose a bit on perhaps his most ‘shredding rock and roll song’ yet
Photo Credit: Justin Chadbourne
AUSTIN, TX. [June 2, 2021] -- Mike Tyson once famously said "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." When Tim Kile got his ass kicked a few years ago by a bunch of asshole small-town fascists in the bathroom stall of a bar in his New Hampshire hometown, he didn’t lose a plan -- he gained a song. And that song, a new single out June 2 titled “Jeremiad,” certainly hits back.
Described by Kile as “the most purely shredding rock and roll song I’ve recorded,” the riff-heavy “Jeremiad” is the latest track to be spotlighted on his self-released debut album, this spring’s acclaimed These Things Are Being Gathered for the Fire. Where previous singles like “Wasteland” and “Nightbird” showed off the Arcade Fire and Wild Light co-founder’s penchant for melodic indie-rock hooks that possess an almost daydream-like quality, “Jeremiad” brings a hammer to the nail, a gauntlet of rock expression and exhalation rained down across its five-minute runtime.
“It’s loosely based on a personal experience, or a couple of them, in the small shithole town in New Hampshire where I grew up, where you’re likely to get unmentionable names shouted at you by douchebags driving down the road in their trucks if they see you dressed a certain way,” Kile says. “A ‘Jeremiad’ is a searing lamentation or conviction, a calling-out of hypocrites and liars, and it doesn’t mince words. The word comes from the ancient Jewish prophets, who were in the habit of excoriating their people for various lapses in ethics. Not surprisingly, they had a way of getting their asses kicked. At times I felt a parallel in my experience with ‘a lost people’ in a podunk city. I experienced some of that righteous anger towards these oafs. My tendency to talk back, even when I was severely outnumbered and out-sized, got me in a jam more than once.”
After the bathroom incident, perhaps it’s more than just coincidental that the song took shape while Kile was literally taking a piss. The melody, along with the lyric “You’re slaves, to your bellies and your balls, or rather not your balls, that would be an improvement” popped into his head. He laughed to himself, finished up, washed his hands, grabbed his guitar, and banged out the track in just a few minutes.
“Lyrically, Jeremiad might be my favorite song on the album,” Kile admits. “I accumulated a ton of lines for the song over months, but then I very quickly assembled it all in the vocal booth. Didn’t have time to overthink it. There’s cool stuff that I didn’t see until after the fact, some internal rhyme scheme stuff, the recurrence of particular words in changing contexts, lyric nerd shit.”
Stylistically, “Jeremiad” is salient among the 10 songs on Kile’s debut album - the furthest extreme of this style of rocking out. It’s got a little bit of Thin Lizzy, a little bit of Big Star, and what Kile likes to call “nicotine rock” thrown into the mix. It’s a startling sound, full of big-room ambition, but at the core it’s still very much Tim Kile.
“This was the first time I really let loose, let my Led Zeppelin roots come out,” he says. “It’s the first time I’ve ended a song with a guitar solo. I’m psyched I get to play it live soon. Which sounds egotistical I guess, but sometimes you write a song and it feels like someone else wrote it, and you just get to play it. It’s kinda like that. Once shows are back fully, I expect it’ll be the show closer. Maybe I’ll light my guitar on fire.”
Tim Kile 2021 press photo:
Photo Credit: Sam Stambaugh
Media praise for Tim Kile:
“Kile was frontman of the short-lived Wild Light, which produced an all-time-favorites-list song for me (‘My Father Was a Horse’), so I’m thrilled to catch up with new work from him. This track has all the arch, urgent intertwined neurosis and enthusiasm that I could hope for in an indie-rock track from Kile. There’s some lovely quiet/loud action here in the heartland-rock-meets-indie-ennui.” -- Independent Clauses
“It’s a balanced album and a great one too. There are moments of upbeat energy and those of quiet introspection, sometimes the songs look you in the eye and speak to you directly, other times they feel like you have taken a furtive peek in someone else’s diary. But always the songs come cocooned in marvelous sonic packages, from the big and bombastic to the sensitive and subtle.” -- Dancing About Architecture
“Elements of both bands [Arcade Fire, Wild Light] are totally there – the 2010s heartfelt vocals, banging drums, and beautifully powerful guitar shine through in Tim’s solo project. It’s so cool to be able to hear what he’s capable of when he has complete control over the sound.” -- Independent Artist Buzz
“Tim Kile’s new album is a thing of beauty. Tim shares his artistic view of his musical emporiums with a map filled with discoveries. You want to close your eyes and imagine the stories Tim sings to you while the fire crackles in the distance. …A detailed musical epiphany throughout this album that will have your imagination curated throughout the day.” -- Drop The Spotlight
"Tim Kile arrives with one of those songs that releases all the bad vibes that you kept inside, with a proposal full of all the indie-rock passion that you needed. ‘Wasteland’ is a fascinating proposal, which flies with all the emotions that can brighten the sunset of any day you live. We love how the support of this song is a mix between sounds of the present, which advocate a kind of lightness and also the influence of classic rock, where the guitars are very saturated and destroy everything without fear. It is a proposal that fascinates and does not stop surprising its good vibes above all." -- Indie Criollo
“Austin musician Tim Kile has unveiled a boisterous, jovial sounding indie track decrying society’s downfall with amusement and lyrical wit… [‘Wasteland’] is an addictive track that hides the singer’s cynicism behind driving retro guitars, big drums and unfolding, carefree melodies warping and distorting towards its finish. Elements of chaos and clashes give the song a sense of a record aged in a dusty studio, but it speaks to the generations of today.” -- Other Side Reviews
“Tim Kile's song writing capabilities are undeniable; a unique ability to combine intelligent lyricism relating to important societal issues is paired with addictive feel-good indie pop.” -- Middle Eight
“I love when artists can cull from all of their inspirations over the past 60 or so years of music and turn it into contemporary material.” -- Blood Makes Noise
“With all its stilted piano, brushes of synth and wisps of backing harmonies, ['My Medicine'] manages to hit a spot where it’s instantly lovable and uplifting and yet, has just a little hint of the melancholy contained within... you need ‘My Medicine’ in your lives.” -- Backseat Mafia
“'My Medicine' delivers dazzling indie-pop with a deeply honest and personal message at the roots... 'Witness' offers a melancholic approach and 'Nightbird' delivers a stunningly beautiful and atmospheric slow burner.” -- Middle Eight
Tim Kile short bio:
Tim Kile is a recording artist based in Austin, Texas. A co-founding member of Grammy Award winners Arcade Fire and Columbia Records' Wild Light, Kile has released music and toured worldwide in support of bands such as The Killers, LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, MGMT, The Wallflowers, and Doves.
With the release of his debut solo album These Things Are Being Gathered for the Fire, Kile is prepared to greet both new and long-standing fans with his richest work yet. Evoking the sweeping romanticism of The Cure and early U2, the incandescent musical sophistication of Elliott Smith, and the lyrical sensitivity of a young Nick Cave or Conor Oberst, Kile’s compositions entrance and intrigue, bringing the listener back for listen after listen.
Classically trained on piano and voice, self-taught on guitar and bass, Kile performs most of the instruments on his recordings. These Things Are Being Gathered for the Fire was self-released in April 2021, preceded by a run of six singles.