Faith in the Future is the second solo album from Craig Finn (former frontman of The Hold Steady and his former band Lifter Puller) which is out now on Brooklyn based indie label Partisan Records. Based in Greenpoint , Brooklyn, Craig has had a hand in many projects and worked with many other bands leaving him with nothing to learn about the tricks of his trade.
The record is produced by Josh Kaufman who has worked with the like of Bob Weir, Josh Ritter and a band we like a lot round here The National. The result is a beautiful record of studio quality that still has a rugged, almost live feel to it, that gives it an edge that is pure quality. Craig has a bit of a reputation for telling a story through his music and a good segment of the material for this release was written after the passing of his mother. The loss is not directly addressed in the record but the underlying themes of redemption and sorrow seem to be threaded throughout. That said, it’s a sober record that is in no way depressing or dull. For example Saint Peter Upside Down is about the fact that in life, for survival, there will be times when you gotta betray someone to get by. Despite the theme, the track has a great vibe to it and will have the toe tapping along in approval.
Bruce Springsteen is among those who have influenced his musical and lyrical style. In the opening seconds of Maggie I’ve Been Searching For Our Son, a track about searching for spiritual answers and drawing blanks, it’s really evident and its almost uncanny how much Craig sounds like him. Though that is where the similarities end. With cross genre styles ranging from indie folk to almost mainstream rock, every track on this album is a real solid composition that sounds effortless and natural.
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Although the album has an instant appeal, It needs a few spins before it makes its way down into your soul where it starts to take root. So it’s one for the grower list. But let’s face it, the growers are the best. So with that in mind, it’s really hard to pick out a stand out track as they are all quality. But when push comes to shove n all that, the melancholic ring of Trappers Avenue is the point at which the album strikes pure gold. In Finns words:
“I was trying to create the feeling of a good day in a not so great place. There is danger lurking, but I wanted to make it romantic, like it was part of a movie, so the protagonists felt like they were in the middle of something beautiful or exciting, singing songs they both liked. In the midst of all this decadence, there is a ray of sunshine that peeks through, transcending the circumstances. It’s all about getting up, going to work and dealing with it… Today’s going to be better than yesterday.”
The concept and picture he describes is captured perfectly, and even if you’re reading this and deciding that this records not for you, before you rest your head this day, give Trappers Avenue a spin. You won’t be disappointed. Craig Finn will be getting a lot of plays round these parts and people will be hearing a lot more from him as he has come out with one of the best albums to hit the shelves this year.