Craig Finn, former frontman of undeground favorites Lifter Puller, has just released the second album of material from new band The Hold Steady. Separation Sunday is a ragged, ballsy collection of tunes that follow the oddball cast of young characters established on their first record Almost Killed Me. The new record revolves largely around the story of a young girl named Hallelujah, the good girl who got in a little over her head in the druggy underworld of Minneapolis. The tales of her rock-bottom desperation and eventual resurrection are alternately humorous and heartbreaking, and the darkness percolating beneath the surface is mesmerizing. Set to the bar band-meets-gospel choir stylings of the band and held together by Finn's keen ability to stop just short of taking the subject matter too seriously, Separation Sunday is an early candidate for album of the year. It can be purchased at iTunes here.
While it's impossible to get full enjoyment of this record without the context of the entire work, these two songs will give you an idea what you're in for.
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