The Hold Steady didn't sound like any other band who emerged from Brooklyn in the 2000s. Fashion wasn't one of their concerns, for one. Craig Finn and Tad Kubler — two N.Y.C. transplants from Minneapolis — decided to blend their punk roots with album-oriented classicism and a frenetic literary sense, winding up with a careening, open-hearted rock & roll that seemed to exist just outside of time. Boys and Girls in America, the group's third album, brought them crashing into the rock mainstream in 2006, and while they never had a massive hit, they maintained a fervently dedicated following who stuck with the group through lineup changes and hiatuses.
In 2010, the band announced the departure of Franz Nicolay. Later that same year, they released their fifth album, Heaven Is Whenever. In 2012, the band went on a brief hiatus, with frontman Craig Finn releasing his debut solo album, Clear Heart Full Eyes. Regrouping with new guitarist Steve Selvidge in 2013, the revitalized five-piece reentered the studio to record a track for the Game of Thrones soundtrack that was also released as a limited-edition single on Record Store Day 2013. Near the beginning of 2014, they issued their sixth album, Teeth Dreams, as well as the covers EP RAGS — all proceeds from the EP went to help the children of longtime Hold Steady fan Mike "Jersey Mike" Van Jura, who sadly passed away in 2012. After the band finished touring for Teeth Dreams, Finn began work on a solo album. The more intimate and personal Faith in the Future was produced by Josh Kaufman and released by Partisan Records in late 2015. He played solo shows throughout the first half of the year, then turned his attention back to Hold Steady business, namely deluxe reissues of Almost Killed Me and Separation Sunday. They arrived at the end of 2016 and to celebrate, the band (which welcomed back Franz Nicolay) played festivals and a series of sold-out shows in Brooklyn. The Hold Steady returned in August 2019 with studio album Thrashing Thru the Passion, which contained some tracks previously released on EPs. ~ Kenyon Hopkin & Rich Wilson