The HOLD STEADY – ” Open Door Policy “

Posted: December 1, 2020 in MUSIC
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The Hold Steady have announced their eighth studio album, “Open Door Policy”. The new record will be released on their own Positive Jams label on February 19th, 2021. In addition to the album announcement, the band also shared the first single, “Family Farm.”

“Songs are created a bunch of different ways in The Hold Steady, but to me, our most classic songs are driving rock songs with piano breaks,” said singer Craig Finn of the new single (via press release). “‘Family Farm’ fits the bill. The genesis of the song was the guitar riff that starts it. Tad Kubler played a home demo for me and our producer Josh Kaufman, and we thought it was worth pursuing. At this point it had the working title ‘August’. We brought it to the band and Franz had the idea for the bridge. This seemed like a ‘scene change’ of sorts, and gave the song more depth and intrigue. We recorded it in December 2019 at the Clubhouse in upstate NY, just after our annual run of shows at the Brooklyn Bowl. Our friends Stuart Bogie and Jordan McLean added horns a bit later. I was personally happy to get a mention of Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’ in the lyrics, and I appreciate it even more after Eddie Van Halen’s unfortunate recent passing. Overall, it feels like a song that will be fun to play live – uptempo, dynamic, and a chorus with shout-along potential.”

The album was recorded at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, N.Y. It was produced by Kaufman and engineered by D. James Goodwin. In addition to The Hold Steady, the album features Stuart Bogie and Jordan McLean on horns, Cassandra Jenkins and Annie Nero on backup vocals, and Matt Barrick on percussion.

“Open Door Policy was very much approached as an album vs. a collection of individual songs, and it feels like our most musically expansive record,” said Finn. “This album was written and almost entirely recorded before the pandemic started, but the songs and stories explore power, wealth, mental health, technology, capitalism, consumerism, and survival – issues which have compounded in 2020.”

The unveiling of Open Door Policy comes on the heels of the band’s announcement of their virtual Massive Nights shows at Brooklyn Bowl. “Set for December 3rd, 4th, and 5th, this very special Massive Nights will be live-streamed around the world, allowing everyone everywhere to raise a glass and sing a favourite song alongside fellow fans far and wide,” read a press release.

What we’re possibly more excited about is ending 2020 by bringing you new music and starting off 2021 with a brand new album! Open Door Policy is our 8th studio album and will be released on February 19th, 2021 via our own label, Positive Jams, in association with Thirty Tigers. You can pre-order it here! We recorded Open Door Policy in two different sessions in the back half of 2019. Once again we teamed with producer Josh Kaufman and engineer Dan Goodwin, this time at the Clubhouse studio in upstate NY. Our intention was to create an album that worked as a grand piece, rather than a collection of songs. 2019 was an active year for The Hold Steady — our writing was consistent, and new songs were coming in pretty regularly. The recording process was creative, open and fun. We were pretty much done with the record by the time we played a few of the new songs in London the first week of March 2020, as the unease of the pandemic was setting in. Not long after we got back from London, NYC shut down and we began to see our 2020 shows postponed. Over the next months, it became obvious that timing this album’s release to specific weekend celebrations wouldn’t be a possibility in the near future. But we were still excited to share it. The songs on Open Door Policy are about power, wealth, & mental health.

They’re about technology, occupation, consumerism, freedom, fandom and escape. And although the album was written and recorded in 2019, the themes of this record seem to be underscored and highlighted by this year of virus and quarantine. Big thanks to Dave McLaughlin for his photo on the album cover, which appears above. “Family Farm” is the first song from the album we’re sharing. It originated from a demo Tad brought in, with Franz adding a classic THS bridge. Our friends Stuart Bogie and Jordan McLean came in with the horns. The song even includes a mention of the great Eddie Van Halen solo “Eruption”, an unintended tribute to a great rock hero in light of his recent passing.

TRACKLIST: The Feelers Spices Lanyards Family Farm Unpleasant Breakfast Heavy Covenant The Prior Procedure RiptownMe & Magdalena Hanover Camera Parade Days

Available on limited edition colored vinyl (blue!), standard vinyl, and limited edition CD. You will receive an instant grat of “Family Farm” with your purchase and digital download of the full album on release date, February 19th, 2021. Of course we have lots of other new Open Door Policy goodies to order with the music at The Hold Steady online shops: t-shirts, infant clothing, winter hats and anything you may have missed. To celebrate the new album and Massive Nights 2020, we’re running a sale in The Hold Steady online shops.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for understanding. We’re really glad that you’re here.

Stay Positive! The Hold Steady

  1. This is exciting news. Listened to Family Farm a couple of times already. The Van Halen nod is nice. The piano break is nicer still

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