Hold Steady releases new album May 4

Brooklyn rockers the Hold Steady release their fifth album May 4 on Vagrant, the band announced Tuesday morning.

Called “Heaven Is Whenever,” it’s the band’s first record without keyboard player Franz Nicolay (far left) since the Hold Steady’s 2004 debut, “Almost Killed Me.” Nicolay recently left the band to focus on various other projects, inspiring this list of the best Hold Steady songs. The musicians address his absence in oblique fashion.

“I really believe the album exposes new elements of the band that we hinted at on other records but weren’t able to fully realize until this one,” guitarist Tad Kubler says in a press release. “Rather than just concentrate on changes in the instrumentation, we made changes to the song writing process.”

Singer Craig Finn says the new songs are “embracing suffering and understanding its place in a joyful life.”

Here’s the track listing:
1. The Sweet Part of the City
2. Soft in the Center
3. The Weekenders
4. The Smidge
5. Rock Problems
6. We Can Get Together
7. Hurricane J
8. Barely Breathing
9. Our Whole Lives
10. A Slight Discomfort

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