The Don Giovanni record label recently let us know about the upcoming release of New River, a solo album by Franz Nicolay, a Hudson Valley singer-songwriter, author, Bard College professor, and former member of the Hold Steady and World/Inferno Friendship Society.
New River is Nicolay’s fourth solo disc; To Us the Beautiful, his last such effort, appeared in 2014, and in 2021 his second novel, Someone Should Pay for Your Pain, was published. “New River, Spring for Me” is the album’s first single.
“For several years after my last record, I needed a break, and actively tried to keep from writing songs,” says Nicolay. “But the combination of working on new Hold Steady material, writing my second book, and having unexpected time on my hands like everyone else in spring 2020 eventually primed the pump for a record’s worth (including a cowrite with my Hold Steady bandmate Steve Selvidge). The years off had constituted a time in which I thought I was finished as a musician; they were time characterized by the loss of several musician friends to suicide both acute and de-facto, and by consideration of the cost of ‘working the art muscle.’ I was approaching a familiar sort of life crossroads which I’ve traditionally addressed on the principle of ‘blow it all up and see if that fixes things.’”
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