Hey, did you guys know that hyper-literate and intensely likable Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn will be gracing us with a solo LP next year? It’s untitled as of yet, but we do know that it’ll skew heavily towards Americana, that Finn has enlisted band members from Phosphorescent and the Heartless Bastards for help, and that it’s by Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, a fact which makes the album automatically noteworthy. To whet our collective appetites, a preview of what’s on deck comes in the form of the first single, which bears the delightfully assonant title “Honolulu Blues”.
Continuing in the same vein of revisionist Americana that Finn visited with his daytime band on THS’ last release, Heaven Is Whenever, “Honolulu Blues” bears all the earmarks of vintage Finn songwriting – a workaday barroom riff, dense lyrics pregnant with religious imagery – but seems to lack urgency, instead content to coast on that crunchy, strutting guitar figure. It’s a curious gambit, but after a few spins, the charms of “Honolulu Blues” kick in; it’s a bit of classic rock redux that promises interesting returns for the rest of Finn’s solo debut.
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