Craig Finn – “Blankets”

The Hold Steady have been busy lately — playing live shows, releasing recordings of those live shows, cranking out two-song singles. But they haven’t released a full-length album since 2014’s Teeth Dreams. In the time since that record, frontman Craig Finn has released two solo albums, and now he’s going to release a third, as well. This spring, Finn will put out I Need A New War, the final album in a three-LP trilogy that also includes 2015’s Faith In The Future and 2017’s We All Want The Same Things.

Finn tells NPR, “The three albums together look at the same people, but from different angles. The characters in the songs on this record, and the last two, are trying to keep up and keep their heads above water.” And he’s just shared “Blankets,” the first single from the new album.

As with most of Finn’s solo records, “Blankets” has a more rootsy and laid-back sound than what Finn does with the Hold Steady, but its storytelling is just as sharp and squalid and granular as ever. Finn’s great subject is people living desperate lives in the middle of the country, and we get plenty of that on “Blankets”: “I moved her to Montana / We hung on for several summers / It got druggy, and we crumbled / But I still never haven’t loved her.” Listen below.

I Need A New War is out 4/26 on Partisan.