The Hold Steady – “Barely Breathing” (Stereogum Premiere)

We saw the Franz-less Hold Steady play “Barely Breathing” at their tour kick-off show in Ardsley. Craig Finn looked like he was having a great time, but it was hard to hear him singing over the video crackle. Now that we have this track, it’s clear that, once again, nostalgia plays a big part, as it does in “Hurricane J” and “The Weekenders.” Finn seems to be saying that audiences aren’t the same anymore, but neither are the bands (more “Rock Problems“). Also, with the live version we posted, you didn’t get to hear the smooth-as-silk clarinet that comes in the second half of this song. It’s a delicate touch on this more polished Hold Steady record.

The Hold Steady – “Barely Breathing”

Heaven Is Whenever is out 5/4 via Vagrant.