The Hold Steady Grow Up

The Hold Steady Grow Up
"‘Stay Positive’ is about holding onto things that are important to you when you are young,” says Hold Steady singer Craig Finn about their new album’s title track. "I think a lot of the times when you would say stay positive in life are when things aren’t actually going well.”

When their fourth and most recent studio album began turning up online, the Brooklyn by way of Minneapolis five-piece didn’t seem to have trouble living up to what they preach. "We knew it was going to leak at some point,” Finn admitted. "There’s one point when you’re disappointed as an artist because you want to sort of reveal or unveil the thing at once, but it’s also kind of a moot point.”

There were advantages for the Hold Steady, though. Well before the official release of the album, rave reviews were showing up everywhere. Their mixture of classic rock and Finn’s speak-sung vocals seemed to please everyone right off the bat, including the band. "I realized what I wanted to say earlier in the process,” said Finn. "And I think it’s just a more musical record than what we made before.”

As musical as Stay Positive may be, the Hold Steady are still recognized widely for their focus on strong lyrics and storytelling. The album weaves tales of growing up; the aspiration to get out and do something, or the desperation of being dragged down by drugs and drinking. Whether big city or small town, it’s not difficult for listeners to find a story to relate to. "It’s just about the struggle to age gracefully,” explained Finn. "About the necessity or the attempt to persevere as you get older but still want to live life the way that you feel is important.”