Hiss Golden Messenger – “Saturday’s Song” (Stereogum Premiere)

Hiss Golden Messenger – “Saturday’s Song” (Stereogum Premiere)

M.C. Taylor’s roots-rock project Hiss Golden Messenger has taken many forms over the course of seven years and four LPs. There is the 2010 solo effort Bad Debt, reissued earlier this year, a stark, shiver-inducing collection Taylor recorded around the table of his North Carolina home. There is the two-man version of the band that Taylor used to tour around with drummer and recording partner Scott Hirsch, scraping and howling and eliciting tingles. And there is the expansive ordeal captured on last year’s Haw, a record that, like most Hiss Golden Messenger releases, applied the haunting sounds of Taylor’s solo recordings to full-bodied folk-rock reminiscent of Lambchop and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. No matter how he dresses them up, the man knows how to write simple songs that cut to the core, and he’s about to release a new batch of them.

Lateness Of Dancers, due this September, is Hiss Golden Messenger’s first release for Merge. It features William Tyler, Megafaun members Phil and Brad Cook, Mountain Man member Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and former full-time Hiss member Hirsch — essentially an all-star team of modern Southern folk-rock — and its name comes from a story by Eudora Welty, an author whose tales of the American South have a lot in common with Taylor’s own work. The lead single is “Saturday’s Song,” an easygoing groove that belies the weight bearing down on its narrator. “When Saturday comes, I might lose control,” Taylor intones. “I’m gonna get a little crazy.” It’s a simple song about the plight of the working stiff and the weekend’s elusive promise of release. Every time I hear it, I love it more. Hear it for the first time (and second, and third, and so on) below.

Lateness Of Dancers is out 9/9 on Merge. Pre-order it here, and check out Hiss Golden Messenger on tour:

7/11 Winnipeg, MB @ Winnipeg Folk Festival
7/15 Nijmegen, NL @ Valkhof Festival
7/16 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
7/18 Suffolk, UK @ Latitude Festival
7/20 North Devon, UK @ Somersault Festival
7/25 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (Merge 25 Festival)
7/26 Winston-Salem, NC @ SECCA w/ William Tyler
8/1 Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon
8/10 San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands Festival
8/14 Richmond, VA @ The National w/ Jason Isbell
8/19 Roanoke, VA @ Shaftman Performance Hall w/ Jason Isbell
8/30 Asheville, NC @ Transfigurations II
9/13 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
9/15 Washington, DC @ DC9
9/16 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
9/18 Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
9/19 Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
9/20 Montreal, QC @ Ukrainian Federation (Pop Montreal)
9/21 Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern

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