The Hold Steady announced today that their fifth disc, Heaven Is Whenever, will be released on May 4th and boast a more guitar-oriented sound, with the piano and keyboards that featured on the group's recent albums falling into the background. As Rolling Stone previously reported, keyboardist Franz Nicolay opted to leave the band last month. Heaven Is Whenever was produced by Dean Baltulonis, who previously helmed the group's Separation Sunday.
Heaven Is Whenever is about "embracing suffering and understanding its place in a joyful life. The lyrics speak a lot about struggle and reward," frontman Craig Finn says in a press release. Adds guitarist Tad Kubler, "I really believe the album exposes new elements of the band that we hinted at on other records but weren't able to fully realize until this one. Rather than just concentrate on changes in the instrumentation, we made changes to the song writing process."
The album was developed in a makeshift recording booth that the band set up in the back of their tour bus while on the road in support of 2008's Stay Positive. The Hold Steady will also embark on a tour of the Northeast in April before heading out to the West Coast in May, culminating with a performance at this year's Sasquatch! festival on Memorial Day weekend.
Check out the Heaven Is Whenever track list and the Hold Steady tour dates below:
Heaven Is Whenever
1. "The Sweet Part of the City"
2. "Soft in the Center"
3. "The Weekenders"
4. "The Smidge"
5. "Rock Problems"
6. "We Can Get Together"
7. "Hurricane J"
8. "Barely Breathing"
9. "Our Whole Lives"
10. "A Slight Discomfort"
The Hold Steady
Apr. 2 - Ardsley, NY @ LIFE
Apr. 3 - New Haven, CT @ Toad's Place
Apr. 5 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
Apr. 6 - Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street
Apr. 7 - Albany, NY @ Linda Norris Auditorium
Apr. 8 - Woodstock, NY @ Bearsville Theater
Apr. 9 - Jermyn, PA @ Eleanor Rigby's
Apr. 10 - Syracuse, NY @ The Westcott Theater
Apr. 12 - Rochester, NY @ The Club at Water Street Music Hall
Apr. 13 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
Apr. 14 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Diesel Club Lounge
Apr. 15 - Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant St.
Apr. 16 - Harrisburg, PA @ Appalachian Brewing Company
May 5 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
May 6 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
May 29 - George, WA @ Sasquatch Festival
• Keyboardist Franz Nicolay Leaves the Hold Steady
• Editors' Roundtable: RS Staffers Debate the Decade's Best Music
• Hold Steady's Finn Scripting Movie of Klosterman's "Fargo Rock City"