Posts Tagged ‘M.C Taylor’

Hiss Golden Messenger

Critically acclaimed indie band Hiss Golden Messenger just announced their anticipated new album Terms of Surrender, with a newly released single “I Need A Teacher.” The project led by gifted songwriter and storyteller M.C. Taylor, seamlessly fuses indie, gospel, and Americana sounds, and his catalogue has grown into a deep well of thoughtful, good-time folk to pull from.

“I Need A Teacher” continues this trend, with sharp lyricism, infectious melodies and harmonies, and a driving guitar line that steers the song along. According to a press release, ‘the video was shot during the statewide North Carolina Association of Educators’ Day of Action demonstration and features a glance into the eyes and faces of real teachers, children, and families that illustrate the humanity and what is at stake for our future.’

The new album features guest appearances by Jenny Lewis, Josh Kaufman and Aaron Dessner of The National, and was recorded at Dessner’s famed Long Pond studio in upstate New York.

Terms of Surrender will be released on Merge Records, September 20th,


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“Standing in the Doorway” was written and recorded during the making of Heart Like a Levee. I think I was trying to understand if and whether luck was related to my life at the time. I always liked this tune, but it didn’t seem to fit the emotional arc of that album for some reason. It also seemed like it could survive on its own, away from other songs that might give it context. Since Heart Like a Levee came out, a lot has changed in the world, of course. I’m currently writing this from the studio where we’re working on our next record and trying to live in this world with some kind of light.  —M.C. Taylor


This song was recorded with the Spacebomb family—a collection of musicians with deep kinship and connection to Hiss Golden Messenger—in Richmond, Virginia, on February 7th, 2018. They love their families and friends in the same ways that I do mine. I was proud and honored to work with them on this song.

All proceeds from “Passing Clouds” and “Passing Clouds Dub” will benefit Everytown, a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. I urge you to perform your own small actions of peace whenever and wherever you can. We can make the world we want to live in. 


No spiritual surrender. —M.C. Taylor, Durham, NC

Released March 21, 2018

Hiss Golden Messenger announces new album, Hallelujah Anyhow, out this September

Hallelujah Anyhow is the latest studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger, due out September 22nd worldwide on Merge Records. Its ten new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies.  All pre-orders in the Merge Records store will receive a signed poster, while supplies last.Hiss Golden Messenger have announced a fall headlining tour following summer festivals and three shows supporting Mumford & Sons.

He has commented,  I’m from nowhere. That’s the way I feel about it now, right at this moment. Music took me and made me and gave me a purpose and I built my world with it, and now my geography is a musical one, forever. And when I break, when I think about running as far as I can, I remember that there is nothing that does me like music, and I might as well be a poor man in a world of my own devising. Hallelujah Anyhow.Rhythm? I learned it over twenty years in the back of rented vans, in attics and back rooms—hard places to get to, harder places to get out of. And now rhythm is my clock and I live by it. We all do. But it’ll kill you if you’re not careful. It might kill you even if you are. Hallelujah anyhow.

I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.

M.C. Taylor, July 2017

This was show Number 5 in as many days, at the start of a six-week tour that took us in a circle around the US, with a few stints into Canada as well. The trip ended up being about 13,000 miles total. Day 5 and we had already traveled from Durham to Asheville to Nashville to Atlanta to New Orleans to Austin. “Honkin’ down the gosh darn highway,” visiting these cities quickly, almost rushed, stopping long enough to preach the gospel of Heart Like A Levee to those who were hip, those who were ready. Heart Like A Levee hadn’t yet been out in the world for two weeks, so the eagerness to preach was strong. We were anxious for people to hear it.

We were tired, understandably, but excited. Morale was high.  We were on an adventure.
I was just happy to be included on the team, a newbie on my first tour, away from my fiance (now wife) for the longest stretch of our entire relationship, forging a new, personal relationship with one of my longtime favorite bands – dudes who, aside from a few shows we’d worked together in previous years and a small handful of email exchanges, existed mostly through speakers & on vinyl records. Lucky me to be in the presence of such talent, such inspiration, such GOODness. I loved every damn second of that tour.

Hiss Golden Messenger turned a corner at The Parish and it was obvious. To me, at least, but I like to think the crowd knew something special was happening too. They were attentive and appreciative. The energy on stage during HGM’s set was gelling very nicely and it was noticeable early in the show, within the first few songs. It felt different than the four previous nights. Looser, but tighter, if that makes any sense. Mike even makes a comment about that during the set. “Finding the rhythm.” Listen to the show and you’ll get it, you’ll hear it.

Scott was celebrating another trip around the sun, so there was a pep in the step because of that. HB brother Scott!
We were brought Torchy’s Tacos for dinner by a friend of the band. We were fueled up!
We had a couple earned days off following this show before the next gig in Phoenix, with fun stops planned in the cosmic West Texas town of Marfa, and the beautiful White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. We were looking forward to visiting these places and to have some down time.
But we were looking forward to the gig that night at The Parish even more and it showed. Goddammit it showed.
Like I said, morale was high, and it stayed that way.


Hiss Golden Messenger Live October 18th, 2016 At The Parish Austin, TX
01: As The Crow Flies
02: Biloxi
03: Saturday’s Song
04: Mahogany Dread
05: Day O Day (Love So Free)
06: Tell Her I’m Just Dancing
07: Heart Like A Levee
08: Happy Day (Sister My Sister)
09: Like A Mirror Loves A Hammer
10: Drum /// I’ve Got A Name For The Newborn Child
11: Red Rose Nantahala
12: O Little Light
13: Say It Like You Mean It
14: Cracked Windshield
15: Lucia
16: MC Speaks
17: Southern Grammar
18: John The Gun
19: Brother, Do You Know The Road?

MC Taylor – vocals, guitar
Phil Cook – keys, guitar, vocals
Ryan Gustafson – guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals
Scott Hirsch – bass
Darren Jessee – drums

Recorded by Luc Suer & Warren Parker
Mixed by BJ Pendleton & Warren Parker
Artwork – Jonas Britt