The Hold Steady are back to announce the new album, The Price of Progress. It’s due out March 31st (via Stereogum), and the indie rock veterans have offered a previewed with the lead single, “Sideways Skull.”
This will be The Hold Steady’s ninth studio album, and follows Open Door Policy in 2021 and frontman Craig Finn’s 2022 solo LP A Legacy of Rentals. “These are some of the most cinematic songs in The Hold Steady catalog,” Finn said in a statement, “and the record was a joy to make. I feel like we went somewhere we haven’t before, which is a very exciting thing for a band that is two decades into our career.”
New single “Sideways Skull” follows a rock and roll manic pixie dream girl, with “Faded denim with the buttons and badges/ Laminates and backstage passes/ Jacket held together by the rock band patches/ They let her smoke but she can’t have matches.”
But there’s more to the song than a character sketch, and “Sideways Skull” soon becomes a celebration of DIY, despite “the pesky problem of the the tepid turnout” and the fact that “no one listens.” By the final verse, the narrator reveals that he himself is in a band called The Price of Progress, and “We’ve got a reputation as New Hampshire’s hardest.” As the song ends, still “no one listens/ But it’s sure nice to meet some fellow musicians.”
Check it out below, and scroll onwards for the tracklist to The Price of Progress. Pre-orders are ongoing.
The Hold Steady will be promoting the album on a 2023 tour. The first date, on January 28th in Brooklyn, NY, will arrive on the 20th anniversary of their first-ever show. By no coincidence, the band will share a bill with Two Dark Birds, whose Steve Koester they opened for at the exact same location, back when it was called North Six.
From there, The Hold Steady will run down the east coast, head across the Atlantic for a London residency, and return stateside for shows in New York and Chicago. The full itinerary can be found after the jump and tickets are available here.
The Hold Steady 2023 Tour Dates:
01/28 — Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg *
02/02 — Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar ^
02/03 — Washington, D.C. @ Black Cat ^
02/04 — Philadelphia, PA @ Brooklyn Bowl ^
03/10 — London, England @ Electric Ballroom
03/11 — London, England @ Electric Ballroom
03/12 — London, England @ Colours Hoxton
05/12 — New York, NY @ WFUV Highline Bash
06/30 — Chicago, IL @ The Salt Shed @!
07/01 — Chicago, IL @ The Salt Shed @!
07/02 — Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
11/29-30 — Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
12/01-02 — Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
* = w/ Two Dark Birds
^ = w/ Friendship
@ = w/ the Mountain Goats
! = w/ Dillinger Four
The Price of Progress Artwork:
The Price of Progress Tracklist:
01. Grand Junction
02. Sideways Skull
03. Carlos Is Crying
06. The Birdwatchers
07. City at Eleven
09. Distortions of Faith
10. Flyover Halftime