The Hold Steady – “Heavy Covenant”

Adam Parshall

The Hold Steady – “Heavy Covenant”

Adam Parshall

Next month, we’re getting a new motherfucking Hold Steady record. In 2019, the great New York rock band released Thrashing Thru The Passion, which was mostly a collection of one-off singles that the band had been dropping on Bandcamp. But soon, the band will return with the LP Open Door Policy, their first album-qua-album since 2014’s Teeth Dreams. That’s good news!

The Hold Steady recorded Open Door Policy mostly before the pandemic, and they got it done with producer Josh Kaufman, the Bonny Light Horseman member and Taylor Swift collaborator. We’ve already posted “Family Farm,” the first single from Open Door Policy. Today, they’ve dropped another one: “Heavy Covenant,” a horn-laced banger that they debuted live in an empty Brooklyn Bowl during a livestreamed show last month.

“Heavy Covenant” is a classic Hold Steady song, a slow-building jam that attaches musical exhilaration to a story of degradation. Craig Finn sings from the perspective of a guy on a business trip who stays an extra night so that he can go score some illicit substances: “I sell software made for offices/ It increases their efficiency/ Hospitals and local governments/ It’s a pretty heavy covenant.” Check out the song and watch video of the band playing it live below.

Finn says:

“Heavy Covenant” is a song about travel, technology, and human connection. The song came out of two different music pieces that THS piano/keyboardist Franz Nicolay brought in, and with the help of producer Josh Kaufman, we combined them. It came together quickly, and when our friends Stuart and Jordan came in and added the horns to the chorus it really seemed to bring it together. To us, this song is a great indication of where the band’s sound is at in 2021.

Open Door Policy is out 2/19 on the band’s own Positive Jams label. Pre-order it here.

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