On the New Hold Steady Single “Hurricane J”

03/22/2010 11:22 AM |


“Hurricane J,” the first single from Heaven is Whenever, hit Pitchfork today, and it seems Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn is trying out a new voice, at least on the verses. On the brief, straightforward track, he sounds a little more nasaly than usual, sort of hushed and slightly uncomfortable, like a teenager experimenting with a four-track while his parents are trying to sleep upstairs. It’s subtle, but it’s there, and I don’t know if it’s enjoyable or not. Less subtle is the absence of Franz Nicolay: the song is relatively unadorned, and the background vocals… well, they’re just not the same. Fear not, though: Finn’s still talking about drinking and kissing and staying positive and all that.

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