Once the lead singer of Lifter Puller and The Hold Steady, American Singer- Songwriter Craig Finn has now turned his attentions to furthering his solo career. 2012 saw the release of his debut album Clear Heart Full Eyes and this year, we see the release of his third solo album.
Throughout Finn’s musical career, he has focused on writing songs full of emotion, expressions of authenticity and the harsh truths of life. With the sobering themes of his music, Finn weaves a narrative style of singing to compliment this tone, focusing more on the clarity of his lyrics and their meaning, rather than impressive instrumental techniques.
The new album stays true to Finn’s lyrical style, using themes and characters which are seen within his other two albums. Finn’s new album consists of ten tracks, one of which depicts a character involved with drugs and alcohol. ‘Preludes’ follows Finn’s tradition of evocative lyrics accompanied by a simple rock beat and intermittent sections of woodwind melodies.
Lyrically, the song tells the story of the return to “St Paul”, drunk and stuck waiting for the bus. Finn, in an interview with Pitchfork, expressed how “Artistically, I have always been really interested in the hangover; not just the celebration and the confetti but also the puke in the gutter.” ‘Preludes’ is a reflection of this interest as the character, whilst drunk, is mugged before being found by campers who help him to sober up. This evocative depiction of the consequences of drinking shows the harsh reality of life and will speak to many listeners on a personal level. Interestingly, the song ends on a religious tone.
The line ‘God watches us’ highlights the overarching message of the song: God will be there to help in times of need. The religious spin of ‘Preludes’ can be seen as an exploration of faith and spirituality.
This album will undoubtedly put life into perspective for many, showing the reality of our 21st century lives and speaking to listeners on many different levels. Craig Finn’s lyrical realism will definitely cause a great wave of interest within the music industry this March.