Due back in town June 29 to open for the Heartless Bastards at First Avenue, Craig Finn won’t be coming home empty-handed. The Hold Steady frontman and Edina native announced details of his second solo album today, and one of the new tracks premiered online along with the news.
Titled “Faith in the Future,” the new record will land Sept. 11 and was recorded in Woodstock, N.Y., with producer Josh Kaufman, who has also worked with the National and Josh Ritter. There’s certainly a nice National-like vibe to the song, “Newmyer’s Roof,” posted below as a lyric video.
Finn told NPR Music, who premiered the tune, “It’s a song about believing that something better is coming.” He also posted a rather moving note about the song’s title, which refers to the friend whose apartment building is where Finn saw the Twin Towers collapse on Sept. 11, 2001. Here’s what he wrote about it:
“I moved to NYC on September 15, 2000.
“Just less than a year later came the terrible events of September 11, 2001. I was working at an office in Union Square and my friend and boss Chris Newmyer suggested we come to his apartment on 2nd Avenue in the East Village. We could see the towers from the roof he said.
“We went up there and saw the towers burn and then collapse. At some point he suggested we get some beer. I didn’t know what to feel that day, most of us had no emotion to access. So we got some beer, and drank them while watching the World Trade Center go down. It sounds detached now, but at the time it made sense on a day when nothing else made sense. I spent some years after that in darkness.
“There was a girl in the 33rd floor of one of the towers that was a receptionist at an investment bank. She went to work that day and when the plane hit they asked her to stay where she was. They said it was safest. She decided against that and walked out of the towers and, like the rest of us, did her best to get on with her life.
“Some years later I went to a birthday party. I talked to this girl. We talked all night. We fell in love and are still together. I came out of the darkness. I’m glad she didn’t do what they told her to do.
“‘Newmyer’s Roof’ isn’t about this exactly. It’s a song about believing that something better is coming. It’s a song about light after darkness. It’s about Faith in the Future.”
In an interview about his first solo album, 2012’s “Clear Heart Full Eyes,” Finn told us of his solo work: “Without the volume of the Hold Steady behind it, the songs pretty naturally got to a more intimate place.” That should prove all the more true with this album, portions of which were also reportedly inspired by the recent passing of Finn's mother, Barbara.
It won't exactly be intimate, but the First Avenue gig will include more tunes off the new record.