Incoming: New Hiss Golden Messenger Album (2 of ’em!)


Tarheel proud, yo. Below, listen to “Biloxi,” the lead track.

By Blurt Staff

North Carolina auteur M.C. Taylor—that’s Hiss Golden Messenger to all you non-Tarheels; the rest of us are privileged enough to know him by his first name—will drop the followup to his acclaimed 2014 album Lateness of Dancers, titled Heart Like a Levee. Look for it on October 7 on Merge, whose cofounder Mac McCaughan (Superchunk, Portastatic) also weighs in on drums. Who else? Glad you asked, because these are all pals of various members of the BLURT braintrust, so yes, you could say we’re not particularly objective: Brad Cook on bass and Phil Cook on piano, both from Megafaun; Tift Merritt and Mountain Man’s Alexandra Sauser-Monnig on backing vocals; Matt Douglas and Michael Lewis on horns.

Here’s what Taylor has to say:

“The writing of the songs that became Heart Like a Levee started in a hotel room in Washington DC in January of 2015 during a powerful storm that darkened the East Coast. At that time I was feeling—more acutely than I had ever felt before—wrenched apart by my responsibilities to my family and to my music. Forgetting, momentarily, that for me, each exists only with the other. How could I forget? Though maybe my lapse was reasonable: I had just quit my job, the most recent and last, in a series of dead-end gigs stretching back 20 years, with the vow that my children would understand their father as a man in love with his world and the inventor of his own days. They would be rare in that regard. And then—driven by monthly bills and pure fear— I left for another tour, carrying a load of guilt that I could just barely lift. But in that snowy hotel room I found the refrain that became my compass: ‘I was a dreamer, babe, when I set out on the road; but did I say I could find my way home?’”

Oh yeah, almost forgot—grab the deluxe edition when it drops, because you’ll snag 8 songs of “intimate” bonus material he’s calling Vestapol recorded during the same time frame.

Heart Like a Levee:

01 Biloxi
02 Tell Her I’m Just Dancing
03 Heart Like a Levee
04 Like a Mirror Loves a Hammer
05 Smoky’s Song
06 Cracked Windshield
07 As the Crow Flies
08 Happy Day (Sister My Sister)
09 Say It Like You Mean It
10 Ace of Cups Hung Low Band
11 Highland Grace


01 Blackeyed Boy
02 After the Colors
03 Together’s Just a Word
04 Living Above the Waterline
05 Strawberry Girl Reel
06 Little Rain
07 John the Gun
08 Vestapol (Is Where I’m Bound)



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