For those of us old enough to have followed their entire road, it’s hard to believe that The Hold Steady are arriving at their 20th anniversary as a band. They’re marking the occasion in no small way, most notably with a new album, The Price of Progress.
The latest salvo from the approaching project is “Sixers”, a song which fulfills just the sort of perfected storytelling ballad that you’d expect from Craig Finn and co. Speaking on the song, Finn shares, “‘Sixers’ was written in the first days of the pandemic. It’s basically a song about knowing your neighbors. Two young professionals meet up in their building late on a Friday night and spend the weekend partying together. They try to find a love connection, but it’s not quite there. It’s hard to make friends when your job is so demanding. Tad and Steve chime in with some beautiful guitar harmonies.“
An all too human story, as Finn says, it captures a potential connection missed, descending from limitless potential to a squandered romance, complete with plaintive piano. One of the two ends up tragically alone, with only themselves to blame, as is the case for all too many of us. It’s endlessly relatable and quietly painful.