Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Regaining some indie cred - with THE NEW SINGLE FROM THE HOLD STEADY

Yes, I do believe the capitals were justified.
Boys and Girls in America, whilst at times straying close to self-parody (dude, the record starts with a Kerouac reference...), remains a completely solid and re-listenable record (and it definitely feels like the kinda CD you call a 'record' rather than an 'album'; like you should really own it on dusty vinyl), and the prospect of a follow-up called Stay Positive that basically sticks to the same template is actually really really definitely A Good Thing as far as I'm concerned.
And first single 'Sequestered in Memphis' does the job of making me 'stay positive' (see what I did there??) about the new record:

mp3: The Hold Steady - Sequestered in Memphis
(from Stay Positive)

Bar-room piano intro? Check.
Slightly obtuse lyrics about being young in America? Dude, the title has a word that most people don't use in everyday life, and the name of an American city. As if "sequestered in Memphis" wasn't enough, the rest of the chorus goes "subpoena-ed in Texas". And the opening line is "It started when we were dancing". Seriously, no one else could pull this off.
Melancholy edge? Check: "In bar light she looked alright. In daylight she looked desperate."
Trumpet part that makes you lean back and mime like Louis Armstrong? Also check.

Basically, it's Hold Steady by numbers: if you hate them, you're so not gonna be converted, but if you love them, then unless you're craving sonic progression (and who uses the word 'sonic' anyway, other than Dr. Who?), then in all likelihood you're gonna lurve it.

Also, it is a crime not to own the song linked-to below, for it is pure distilled brilliance in musical form:

mp3: The Hold Steady - First Night
(from Boys and Girls in America)

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