In 2010, at a kitchen table in a house in the wide open spaces near Piedmont, North Carolina, M.C. Taylor recorded some gorgeously intimate folk songs into a tape recorder. Taylor, who later released two albums under the name Hiss Golden Messenger, is now issuing those recordings on an album called Bad Debt. Here’s how he explains it:
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.
The record is about my God: that is, whether I have one, and whether there is a place for me in this world. I don’t go to church, and I am not saved. I can party too. I can do a saxophone now and again, bang the drum. Bad Debt was my revelation, and there are many for whom I’ll never make a record better than this one.
“Drum,” the single of sorts, is a steady-strumming gospel-tinged slow jam carried along by Taylor’s easygoing croak. It’s a lovely little hair-raiser, and you can (and should) hear it below.
Bad Debt is out 1/14/14 via Paradise of Bachelors. Take the good news and spirit it away.