photo credit: Adam Parshall

The Hold Steady have announced their eighth studio album, Open Door Policy. The new record will be released on their own Positive Jams label on Feb. 19, 2021. In addition to the album announcement, the band also shared the first single, “Family Farm.”

“Songs are created a bunch of different ways in The Hold Steady, but to me, our most classic songs are driving rock songs with piano breaks,” said singer Craig Finn of the new single (via press release). “‘Family Farm’ fits the bill. The genesis of the song was the guitar riff that starts it. Tad Kubler played a home demo for me and our producer Josh Kaufman, and we thought it was worth pursuing. At this point it had the working title ‘August’. We brought it to the band and Franz had the idea for the bridge. This seemed like a ‘scene change’ of sorts, and gave the song more depth and intrigue. We recorded it in December 2019 at the Clubhouse in upstate NY, just after our annual run of shows at the Brooklyn Bowl. Our friends Stuart Bogie and Jordan McLean added horns a bit later. I was personally happy to get a mention of Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’ in the lyrics, and I appreciate it even more after Eddie Van Halen’s unfortunate recent passing. Overall, it feels like a song that will be fun to play live – uptempo, dynamic, and a chorus with shout-along potential.”

The album was recorded at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, N.Y. It was produced by Kaufman and engineered by D. James Goodwin. In addition to The Hold Steady, the album features Stuart Bogie and Jordan McLean on horns, Cassandra Jenkins and Annie Nero on backup vocals, and Matt Barrick on percussion.

Open Door Policy was very much approached as an album vs. a collection of individual songs, and it feels like our most musically expansive record,” said Finn. “This album was written and almost entirely recorded before the pandemic started, but the songs and stories explore power, wealth, mental health, technology, capitalism, consumerism, and survival – issues which have compounded in 2020.”

The unveiling of Open Door Policy comes on the heels of the band’s announcement of their virtual Massive Nights shows at Brooklyn Bowl. “Set for December 3, 4, and 5, this very special Massive Nights will be live-streamed around the world, allowing everyone everywhere to raise a glass and sing a favorite song alongside fellow fans far and wide,” read a press release.

Pre-order or pre-save Open Door Policy here.

Listen to “Family Farm” below!