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Lateness of Dancers

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iTunes Review

Having jumped to the estimable indie label Merge for their fifth album, Hiss Golden Messenger maintain the full-band sound of their previous album, Haw, with a number of guests joining the core duo of M.C. Taylor and bassist Scott Hirsch. The early comparisons to Will Oldham are now pushed toward the full-on alt-country of Wilco and their likenesses. Solid drummer Terry Lonergan, guitarist William Tyler, Mountain Man’s Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and Megafaun’s Phil and Brad Cook are among the ranks, and they help Taylor bring together an album that sounds steeped in Basement Tapes to New Morning–era Bob Dylan, Memphis soul, Fame Studios, New Orleans dry funk, and vintage Americana. “Day O Day (A Love So Free)” clops through the mountain passes with a flat early-‘70s bass guitar thump and rolling piano. “Saturday’s Song” brings to mind Jackson Browne’s “Doctor My Eyes” before Taylor settles for a Dylan feel. A multitude of perfect moments eventually add up to a solid, understated album.

Customer Reviews

2014 A Great Year For Music!

This Fall and late Summer we are all enjoying new album releases and man this one right here is special. I catch World Cafe at 5AM on WNCW near the NC boarder, heading back to Columbia and as the station is cutting out I caught the ending of that song, the one with the harmonizing guitar run. I had to buy this record it has a great deal of golden lights and river mojo, it taste like chicken, fried.

Smooth and Earthy

I stumbled onto this group through a Starbucks® freebie, “Saturday’s Song”. It had a modern folksy sound that was reminiscent of Celtic mysticism, but wrapped in a completely hillbilly-bluesy package. It hooked me instantly and drew me in. I listened to that one song off and on for a couple days. It simply haunted me—one of those things that gets in your head and you can’t quite get it out. So I went back to the iTunes store to see what else was on the album. I am thoroughly impressed with the work. There’s talent here, real talent. The rest of the album is as good as the first tune that pulled me in.

Such an organic feel

I’m really digging on Hiss Golden Messenger. This is the album that grabbed me, but I’m definitely going into the back catalog and picking up his (their) other stuff. One of the most pleasant surprises from 2014.


Formed: 2008 in North Carolina

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A vehicle for singer/songwriter Michael Taylor (M.C. Taylor) and multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer Scott Hirsch, Hiss Golden Messenger's fusion of classic rock, folk-pop, and sparse blues in various guises has seen Taylor compared to the likes of lo-fi legends Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Bill Callahan. Born and raised in Southern California, Taylor was inspired to pick up the guitar by his musician father, who had previously played in the Settlers, a pop outfit that once opened for John...
Full Bio