A Great Fall Into the Sky | “Total Garbage” by Tim Hecker

A Great Fall Into the Sky | “Total Garbage” by Tim Hecker

Mike Merucci, Editorial Assistant

To listen to Tim Hecker’s latest album, No Highs, and to listen to track three, “Total Garbage,” is to feel as though you are rapidly ascending through layers of wisping clouds, but also to feel as though you are falling from the sky in slow motion, seeing the true expanse of the world below for far too long. 

The world you see as you fall is tinted gray. Smog creeps around skyscraper needles in whirlpools; birds with smoke-laden wings sit stagnant on powerlines; highways forming gnarled shapes around high-rise after high-rise decay as you near the Earth’s surface. 

After hours or years of falling, falling, falling, you finally arrive at the ground. But you do not hit the ground and explode into trillions of pieces. You do not become a sacrifice to the gray. 

Instead, you find yourself floating inches from the pavement, inches from the water, inches from the grass. You see beauty in the ground’s minute details, and you reach out to touch it. You twirl a blade of grass between your fingers; you whittle your skin against asphalt; you run a hand across your sweating forehead; you ascend back into the sky.

The sonics of your rise are strange: There is a repeated clicking noise sourcing from below, guiding you up. A series of distant, streaking synths and strings and saxophone wails twist along your body as you grow more and more distant from the ground. There are tinges of alarm, tinges of uncertainty. Where the music will ultimately lead you, you do not know.


There is only one thing you truly understand in this odyssey: The clouds look different when you are rising into them.