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Song You Need to Know: Tim Wheatley, ‘Shiny Tacoma’

The title track from his forthcoming EP, Tim Wheatley explores the notion of hindsight and self-compassion on his latest single.

Following on from the release of his A Night Without Shakespeare EP last year, Tim Wheatley has returned with “Shiny Tacoma”, the first taste from his forthcoming EP of the same name.

Set for release on April 7th, “Shiny Tacoma” is a smooth example of what makes Wheatley such an acclaimed artist, exploring a variety of genres as his immersive storytelling takes centre stage. Bolstered by acoustic guitar and electric piano, the track is one that explores the notion of hindsight, but encourages the listener to have some compassion for themselves as they look back on their mistakes.

“It’s a nod to everyone that’s been faced with a decision that results in them being pushed way outside their comfort zone, with the attitude of ‘yeah fuck it, I’m in – why not?!'” he explains, “and then taking the time to reflect on it and be able to laugh rather than lament.”

As it turns out, this track was something of a long time coming, with Wheatley initially having planned to release a full album last year on a major label. Unfortunately, plans didn’t quite work out the way they were supposed to, and instead of lamenting on the past, he’s releasing his new EP as a way to clean the slate, record a new album, and explore musical ground that differs from what’s come before.

“I felt as though I had finally written an album that was cohesive and captured a chapter in my life quite perfectly,” Wheatley explains. “Then we cut it up into pieces, making the ultimate sacrifice to appease a label who as it turned out – never even released it. There has to be a place for those who write songs and want to be judged on a body of work rather than forced into a corner and asked to produce ‘the single’.

“This year I have broken free of the manacles and am in search of a way to get as much of my music heard as I possibly can. I still listen to albums, I read the lyric books and am looking for an audience whose attention span lasts longer than a TikTok. Wish me luck!”

Likewise, the track also comes paired with an accompanying video, filmed by friends Andrew Noel and Tegan Butler, and features an intimate view of Wheatley performing the song in a casual, comfortable environment.

His forthcoming Shiny Tacoma EP is set to be released on May 19th, and arrives on the same day as the audiobook of Paper Paradise, the 1999 biography of his father, the late Glenn Wheatley. In true fashion, Glenn worked until the very last moments, having finished recording the book just a month before his passing in February.

“It was always a certainty. My father would be working to the end,” Tim explains. “And alas, we are left with projects in the works that reflect his unique combination of passion and hustle. Not all of them seem entirely realistic to most of us, and that’s the element that reflects his vim and ambition.

“The fact Glenn took it upon himself to record his first book to audio a month before he passed didn’t really surprise me because he was always so sentimental,” he adds. “But there’s no way he would have been happy just telling the first part. So indeed, finishing the rest of his story is something we need to do. He has already done the hard part.”

Fittingly, Tim’s forthcoming EP features a cover of The Master’s Apprentices’ “Because I Love You” (which his father recorded back in 1970) as a tribute to the late industry icon.

“It’s been 50 years since ‘Because I Love You’ was recorded right here in London at Abbey Road, and it’s been two very long years since I’ve seen my family back home in Australia,” Tim explains. “The sentiment and lyrics ring so true to me at the moment that it was impossible to leave this tune off the EP.

“It took me back to the tour I that I filled in for Dad on bass with The Master’s Apprentices back in 2002 for the ‘Long Way to the Top Tour’. I was only nineteen and playing with the original lineup.”

A powerful release, from its title track to its cover of an iconic familial tune, Tim Wheatley is set to release his Shiny Tacoma EP on May 19th.

Tim Wheatley’s “Shiny Tacoma” is released on April 7th, while his new EP of the same name will be released on May 19th.