Hiss Golden Messenger is Durham, North Carolina-based songwriter M.C. Taylor, in partnership with multi-instrumentalist and recordist Scott Hirsch, who lives in Brooklyn, New York. The pair have been playing music together for nearly two decades. 'Poor Moon' is the fourth proper Hiss Golden Messenger release, and serves as the best summation thus far of Taylor's lone journeys through the dark night of the soul. "God is good, and it's understood," he sings. "But he moves in mysterious ways."
Taylor and Hirsch are clear that they draw inspiration from a variety of sources, including the blue-collar mysticism of Ronnie Lane and Richard & Linda Thompson; the high haunted atmospheres of John Martyn and Talk Talk; and American vernacular music writ large (from Archie Brownlee to the Staple Singers; Charlie Poole to Merle Haggard). Yet for all that, 'Poor Moon' is a singular vision, one that only two companions could have made after twenty years of music-making, revelry, and repent. 'Poor Moon' sounds like nothing so much as Hiss Golden Messenger.
Taylor and Hirsch are joined on Poor Moon by regular collaborators 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); visual artist Alex Jako and others. The result is a lush yet concise album, recorded in one week, that has been championed (unsolicited, we might add) with effusive praise in Interview Magazine, UNCUT, The Guardian, and NPR.
Tompkins Square will also release a limited edition 7" of "Jesus Shot Me In The Head" from 'Poor Moon' b/w the unreleased "Jesus Dub", on Record Store Day, April 21, 2012.
Radio Playlist March 14th 2012 (HERE)
Steven John Hopkins - Almost Dawn (S/T)
Hiiragi Fukuda - Man, Woman & Marshall Amp (The Stable At Dawn)
Hiss Golden Messenger - Jesus Shot Me In The Head (Poor Moon)
Father John Misty - Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings (1 track album advance)
Brightblack Morning Light - Black Feather Wishes Rise (S/T)
J. Tillman - Crosswinds (Daytrotter Studio Session, 14-04-2010)
Hiss Golden Messenger - Super Blue (two days clean) (Poor Moon)
The Soundcarriers - Rolling On (Celeste)
The Fauns - Fragile (S/T)
Black Mountain - Angels (CBC Radio 3, 24-04-2009)
The Sand Pebbles - Long, Long Ago (feat. Britta Phillips) (Dark Magic)
Hiss Golden Messenger - Westering (Poor Moon)
Yair Yona - This One's For You, Glenn (World Behind Curtains)
Glenn Jones & Jack Rose - Miss May's Place (Live in Brooklyn 2008)
Jack Rose - Sun Dogs / Black Pearls (John Peel Session BBC Radio 1, 06-09-2004)
Charlie Parr & The Black Twig Pickers - I Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down (Glory In The Meeting House)
Hiss Golden Messenger - Dreamwood (Poor Moon)
Sideways Through Sound Archive