As long-time readers of this blog know, the Hold Steady is one of our favorite bands. In 2010, the band, minus long-time piano player Franz Nicolai, released Heaven Is Whenever, a solid album with a couple of great songs that was nonetheless by far the weakest and least consistent album the band had ever released. Late last year, Craig Finn, the band's lead singer, announced that he was releasing a solo album in 2012; news that fans took with no small amount of skepticism. Franz Nicolai's solo albums sucked so much dick that Stoya got a little envious, and no fan of The Hold Steady wanted to see Finn release a legacy-destroying solo project that would make his early records like Almost Killed Me and Separation Sunday seem like lucky flukes instead of the product of one of the greatest bands of their generation.
Fortunately, Finn gave the internet (and visibly star-struck music critic Steven Hyden) a sneak preview of one of his solo songs, "Jackson." It sounds exactly like Craig Finn without sounding too much like The Hold Steady, which is to say that he seems to have hit it out of the park. Hopefully the album will have five or six more songs like this:
Craig Finn discusses and performs "Jackson"