“Words can mean different things, from day to day they change their meaning,” MC Taylor sings at the start of Jump For Joy, his latest under the reliable and stalwart Hiss Golden Messenger banner. Adopting a new character—named “Michael Crow,” with a subtle nod—allows Taylor a little space to move around. And tellingly, he uses much of that wiggle room to indulge in layers of funk (“I Saw the New Day in the World”), lithe soft-rock (“Shinbone”), and Dead-indebted shuffles (“California King”). Hiss Golden Messenger’s best records always balance honeyed charm with existential weight, but here the ratio feels exactly right: words change their meaning, after all, and though Taylor concludes the album confessing he “speaks a dead language,” it’s clear he’s got plenty of new things to say. Taylor joins us to discuss.
Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard on dublab returns Sunday, August 15 from 4—8 PM Pacific time, with special guests Chad DePasquale and MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger.
On “Sanctuary,” the closing song on Hiss Golden Messenger’s ninth album, Quietly Blowing It, Mike Taylor sings: “Feeling bad, feeling blue, can’t get out of my own mind, but I know how to sing about it.” And thankfully, he does. For over a decade now, Hiss Golden Messenger has provided us with music that heals. Taylor’s songs stress the importance of growth, empathy, and grace, and acknowledge the formative inevitably of pain, weakness, and loss. And despite the self-effacing title and a past eighteen months plus of potent darkness, this new work only strengthens Taylor’s resolve.
I made the first Wah Wah Cowboys mix in 2009– almost ten years ago, which I cannot believe–as a way towards bit of mental calm after my wife and I […]
“It’s a strange, sweet kind of light/To be lost out in the darkness of the border.” On Hiss Golden Messenger’s new album, Hallelujah Anyhow, songwriter M.C. Taylor stares down […]
Welcome to latest installment of Aquarium Drunkard’s Transmissions podcast, a recurring series of discussions with the creators responsible for some of our favorite art. On this episode, we sit down […]
Ask the most dedicated followers of British folk rock about the most sought after lost classic of the canon, and you’ll likely hear 1972’s Bright Phoebus: The Songs of Mike […]
Lagniappe (la ·gniappe) noun ‘lan-ˌyap,’ — 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus. Over the last couple years, the songs […]
You can’t choose your blues, but you might as well own them. When you’ve been around the block a few decades you begin to notice life is a series of […]
We’re back in NYC. Thursday night, September 18th, Aquarium Drunkard presents Hiss Golden Messenger with Alexander Sauser Monning at Rough Trade in Brooklyn. We have several pairs of tickets for AD readers. To […]
Since the dawn of the Great Recession, M.C. Taylor has emerged as one of America’s most potent songwriters. Formerly of hardcore outfit Ex-Ignota and alt-country band The Court and Spark, […]
M.C. Taylor’s Hiss Golden Messenger albums weave a lot of layers into the songwriter’s work — folk, blues, gospel, touches of psychedelia, boogie, and raga — but with “Saturday’s Song,” […]
“I had a little bit of a crisis,” songwriter M.C. Taylor jokes. Arriving in Asheville, North Carolina, where Taylor performed earlier this month with members of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia […]
A clutch of North Carolina albums have been on my mind of late. Hiss Golden Messenger’s Haw is the third corner of a triangle that started with the solitary winter […]
When I was fifteen years old, I wrote MC Taylor a fan letter. At the time, he played in a hardcore band I liked called Ex-Ignota. I was a big […]