HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER

Hiss Golden Messenger Bundle

Merge Records

$180.00

This item is currently unavailable.

This bundle includes 6 Hiss Golden Messenger releases...

Bad Debt
Poor Moon
Haw
Hallelujah Anyhow
Terms of Surrender
Quitley Blowing It (Metallic Blue Vinyl)
 


Bad Debt comes from ten dense acres of oak, cedar, and apple trees in Pittsboro, North Carolina, directly south of the Haw River. The house where it was made was built in the early 1970s by a hippie cohort that settled along Brooks Branch; though this may sound like some kind of brag, I offer this to explain just how cold it was during the fall and winter when this record was conceived. Most hippies— except for the most famous one, of course, and probably a few others—are shit carpenters. 

Featuring contributions from Terry Lonergan, Nathan Bowles (Black Twig Pickers; Pelt), Hans Chew (D. Charles Speer & the Helix), Matt Cunitz (Brightblack Morning Light), Tom Heyman (The Court & Spark), and others, Poor Moon represents both an elaboration and inversion of previous Hiss Golden Messenger efforts, proposing an America at perpetual sundown, wracked by devotion, wrecked by celebration. Named in homage to the Canned Heat track penned by the immortal Blind OwlPoor Moon conjures the unsteady experience of soul at home in the wild, and it stands as a captivating document of Southern songcraft. 

Haw is the name of a river, a modest tributary of the Cape Fear, flowing rocky and swift through 110 miles of Piedmont North Carolina, wending Southeasterly past abandoned and repurposed textile mills, rickety hippie homesteads, and red-clay farmland fringed with pine forests. Haw is also one of a few names for a small Siouan tribe that once resided in the river’s valley and may have alternately known themselves as the Saxapahaw or Sissipahaw. 

Hallelujah Anyhow's ten new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Evan Ringel. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies.

Taylor says that he wanted to make Terms of Surrender "a wandering record. I wanted where we recorded it to mirror the searching spirit of the music." With regular collaborators - including Phil and Brad Cook, Josh Kaufman, and Matt McCaughan - and new friends like Jenny Lewis and Aaron Dessner (of The National), the crew decamped to Dessner's Long Pond studio in upstate New York, Sound City in Los Angeles, and producer Roger Moutenot's Haptown studio in Nashville to create the most fully realised and genre-defying Hiss Golden Messenger album to date.

Hiss Golden Messenger's Quietly Blowing It was written and arranged by M.C. Taylor in his home studio—his 8’ × 10’ sanctuary packed floor to ceiling with books, records, and old guitars—as he watched the chaotic world spin outside his window. Between March and June 2020, Taylor wrote and recorded upwards of two dozen songs—in most cases playing all of the instruments himself—before winnowing the collection down and bringing them to the Hiss band. In July, the group of musicians, with Taylor in the production seat, went into Overdub Lane in Durham, NC, for a week, where they recorded Quietly Blowing It as an organic unit honed to a fine edge from their years together on the road.