It’s been just over a year since the Hold Steady released their excellent Open Door Policy and Craig Finn is already on to the next one. Finn will release his fifth solo album A LEGACY OF RENTALS in May. It was produced by his longtime collaborator Josh Kaufman of Bonny Light Horseman fame and engineered by D. James Goodwin, who also shot Finn’s awesome new promo photo. Here’s a statement from Finn about the album:

The title A LEGACY OF RENTALS acknowledges that we can never completely hold any of our possessions, and that our bodies are merely a temporary residence for our souls. All moments are fleeting. After the destruction of the past few years, I believe that there is joy in each and every living action, however mundane — walking to the kitchen, missing a train, spilling coffee, cleaning it up, meeting a friend for a meal. We all want to be remembered. We all want our time here to be consequential. In taking these daily actions, we engage in hope, and we guarantee our unique place in history.

The new album’s opening track and lead single “Messing With The Settings” is out today. It’s a graceful and meditative song, and Finn has a statement about it too:

Memory is a major theme through A LEGACY OF RENTALS, and I wanted the first song on the record to open on that note. 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. We wanted to make this song an incantation of sorts. It also features the beautiful 14-piece string section that played on a lot of these songs. I wanted to it have a cinematic feel, like Gone With The Wind or something like that.

Craig Finn blurring the line between talking and singing? Who would have thought?! Hear “Messing With The Settings” and watch the A LEGACY OF RENTALS album trailer below.

01 “Messing With The Settings”
02 “The Amarillo Kid”
03 “Birthdays”
04 “The Year We Fell Behind”
05 “Due To Depart”
06 “Curtis & Shepard”
07 “Never Any Horses”
08 “Jessamine”
09 “A Break From The Barrage”
10 “This Is What It Looks Like”

A LEGACY OF RENTALS is out 5/20 on Positive Jams/Thirty Tigers. Pre-order or pre-save it here. Here’s that promo photo I was talking about: