The Hold Steady Announce New Album, Release Single "Denver Haircut"

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The Hold Steady Announce New Album, Release Single "Denver Haircut"

Ironically, The Hold Steady are coming unstuck. For the past two years, the Brooklyn by way of the Twin Cities alt-rock band have been releasing single after single, all of them unmoored from the dense plotting and warm sense of place that grounded their early, beloved work. Frontman Craig Finn retains his Knausgaardian eye for detail, but now his gaze is trained on moments of loneliness, disconnection, transit. One of their recent singles was even called “The Last Time She Talked To Me.”

And now we have “Denver Haircut,” the opening track of their just-announced album Thrashing Thru the Passion. Over the band’s distinctive classic rock-meets-punk sound, Finn sketches a story that begins in an airport and ends in a motel. A “he” and a “she” meet, party, buy drugs and take drugs, and then she disappears with his wallet. Despite the specificity of the title, the track is an ode to non-places, those in-between spaces home to drifting people. As Finn sings at the beginning of the song, “you’re kind of catching me at a transitional time.”

”’Denver Haircut’ is a story about a guy who has chance meet up that takes him to a few different locations before leaving him alone and cashless in a strange hotel room,” Finn explains in a statement. “Steve Selvidge (guitarist) brought in the music to this song and everyone felt it immediately, it was really fun to play. The story unfolded quickly, too. When recording, we remarked that it sounded like it could kick off an album … and so here we are.”

Thrashing Thru the Passion, The Hold Steady’s seventh studio album and their follow-up to 2014’s Teeth Dreams, is out Aug. 16 on Frenchkiss Records. The album will have five new songs and five songs that were previously released as loosies. Those include “Entitlement Crew,” “Star 18,” “The Stove & The Toaster,” “T-Shirt Tux” and “Confusion In The Marketplace.”

Listen to “Denver Haircut” and watch a 2009 Hold Steady performance from the Paste archives below. Be sure to check out the full tracklist and album art for Thrashing Thru the Passion further down, along with The Hold Steady’s upcoming tour dates.

Thrashing Thru the Passion Album Art:


Thrashing Thru the Passion Tracklist:
01. Denver Haircut
02. Epaulets
03. You Did Good Kid
04. Traditional Village
05. Blackout Sam
06. Entitlement Crew
07. T-Shirt Tux
08. Star 18
09. The Stove & The Toaster
10. Confusion In The Marketplace

The Hold Steady Tour Dates:

15-17 – Seattle, Wash. @The Crocodile
22 – Chicago, Ill. @ Thalia Hall
23 – Chicago, Ill. @ Empty Bottle
24 – Chicago, Ill. @ Thalia Hall

05-07 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Basement East
12-15 – Boston, Va. @ The Sinclair

04-07 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Brooklyn Bowl