Franz Nicolay, “The Hearts of Boston”

Kerri O'Malley

Franz Nicolay

Photo by Miles Kerr

According to Franz Nicolay, “The Hearts of Boston” are more Celtic than the basketball team. The first single from Nicolay’s third solo album, Do The Struggle, “Hearts of Boston” sounds like a disillusioned Irish man traded his brown bottle for some white powder, turning a winding narrative of discontent into a jittery, erratic dance step more dizzying than any simple jig. Just as filled with trouble and a misplaced, unrepentant lust for life as a more traditional bar sing-along, the song combines Nicolay’s lilting vocals and touch for a tale with a modern treatment of traditional instruments, fast-forwarded fiddling included.


A multi-instrumentalist and former member of diverse acts from the Hold Steady to Guignol , Nicolay’s quick tongue delivers a treasure chest of tea-stained fables and faded moments in his latest record, bouncing between styles and syllables with a whiplash speed that dramatizes his throat-catching sentimentality into something almost overly operatic and overblown for us living under the clouds.

Franz Nicolay, “The Hearts Of Boston”

Do The Struggle is out now via Franz Nicolay's own pocket.

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