The Hold Steady’s frontman Craig Finn has shared new single ‘Messing With the Settings’ ahead of the release of his fifth solo album, ‘A Legacy of Rentals’ on 20 May via Positive James/Thirty Tigers. The opening song on the new album, Craig says: ‘This song is literally a eulogy. It’s delivered by someone who has lost touch with the recently deceased, but still finds them important. Musically, it really explores the line between talking and singing, which was something we leaned into on this record.’
A genteel opening with psychedelic tendencies makes way to Craig singing about how ‘Sometimes it feels like I’m riding a train I’m not on’ before he starts delivering a spoken-word stream-of-consciousness from the latest in his long list of captivating characters: ‘I never really argued with her basic observations because I wasn’t super into confrontation back then. I was mostly just about sitting by the window watching the flag in the front just twisting and twisting and twisting’. As the song progresses, the 14-piece string section add a grandiose and cinematic feel to Craig’s storytelling – especially when he talks about returning to deliver the powerful speech: ‘Rachel did her best with deal she’d been dealt and that’s what I’ve got for a eulogy’.