Hold Steady fans won’t have to wait much longer to hear Heaven Is Whenever, the band’s mustache-free followup to Stay Positive. Craig Finn’s said the provocatively titled album’s about “embracing suffering and understanding its place in a joyful life,” that “the lyrics speak a lot about struggle and reward.” Fairly general, but things get more specific on “Hurricane J,” aka “Hurricane Jess,” aka “Hurricane Jessie,” aka a girl who’s named after a storm not a saint, aka a girl who’s “gonna crash into the harbor this summer.” Natural disasters as the people surrounding you. (Or the people you want surrounding you.) Of course, there are also good lines (“You’re a beautiful girl / And you’re a pretty good waitress / But Jessie, I don’t think I’m the guy”) and an anthemic chorus.
Heaven Is Whenever is out 5/4 via Vagrant.