The Hold Steady have released a new song, “Family Farm,” which will appear on their upcoming eighth studio album, Open Door Policy, out February 19th, 2021, via the band’s own Positive Jams label and Thirty Tigers.
“Family Farm” is classic Hold Steady, opening with a driving guitar riff and a flourish of Springsteenian piano and horns, before settling into stripped-back verses that give way to a booming chorus. “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,” frontman Craig Finn said in a statement. “Overall, it feels like a song that will be fun to play live — uptempo, dynamic and a chorus with shout-along potential.”
Open Door Policy follows the Hold Steady’s 2019 album, Thrashing Thru the Passion, which featured the return of keyboardist Franz Nicolay, who left the band in 2008. The group recorded the new LP at the Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, New York, with producer Josh Kaufman and engineer D. James Goodwin. Additional performers include 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,” Finn said. “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.”
Later this week, the Hold Steady will host a livestream version of their annual run of shows, Massive Nights, which will air December 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Single-night tickets and three-day passes are on sale, while there are also a limited number of tickets to a special soundcheck/happy hour event on December 4th.