[caption id="attachment_18597" align="alignleft" width="640" caption="Craig Finn performs with the Hold Steady in London, February 2011. Photo: Brigitte Engl/Redferns"][/caption]
Leave it to the Hold Steady's Craig Finn to get bummed out in Honolulu. Well, sort of. As Finn told us back in July, he's branching out into a full fledged solo career with a new Americana record called Clear Heart Full Eyes. "Honolulu Blues" tells a Jack Kerouacian tale of wander through a few Jesus references and a mid-tempo power guitar riff. It's not a Hold Steady tune, per se, but certainly has the bar-rock stamp front and center with Finn's narrative talk-sing anchoring the thing. For a moment last week, the B-side surfaced -- a tune called "Rented Room," the more interesting of the two, and not because it's a slight attempt at a power ballad. Lyrically, Finn's on top of his game, describing the trappings of living in transit, most likely after a break-up. The song's about heartache and memory, drinking in silence during the bad times, dancing at bars during good times and how "the pillow still tastes like her perfume." In other words, of the pair, he's singing the more authentic blues on "Rented Room." Both are set to appear towards the end of Clear Heart -- until then, break out the leis with this first taste.
Clear Heart Full Eyes is out January 24 on Vagrant.