Craig Finn – “Honolulu Blues & “Rented Room”

At some point next year, Craig Finn, the splenetically wordy and generally joyous frontman of the Hold Steady, will release a solo album under his own name. Finn recorded it earlier this year in Austin, with Spoon collaborator Mike McCarthy producing and members of bands like Centro-matic, the Heartless Bastards, and Phosphorescent helping out. A couple of months ago, when I was still working at Pitchfork, I interviewed Finn about the album, and he used the word “Americana” to describe it.

On 11/25, Black Friday, Finn will participate in the whole Record Store Day thing by releasing a 7″ single with two of those solo songs, “Honolulu Blues” and “Rented Room,” and both of them are streaming below. “Honolulu Blues” is a lazy midtempo chug, and “Rented Room” is a relatively subdued Southern-rock reverie. In both cases, it’s fun to hear Finn’s voice and words removed from their usual blustery Hold Steady context. Listen below.

“Honolulu Blues”:

Between this and the new Mountain Goats track, it would probably behoove you to spend some time this morning thinking about song lyrics.