Hiss Golden Messenger review

Keenly crafted and intimate collection of indie country tunes

From Country Hai East Cotton

These days, MC Taylor is much more than just a musician. Several years back, the former frontman of alt. country indie types The Court & Spark left San Fran for North Carolina to study and lecture in folklore. Taylor also busies himself editing a music curriculum for Quincy Jones (we’re still not clear on what this actually entails), and when he’s not tied up with that, he also puts out music under this solo moniker. Last year’s Bad Debt EP, which tackled such topics as betrayal, redemption and donkeys, was a stripped, spectral, acoustic folk affair.

This EP, meanwhile, is a relative about-face. Which makes it all the more bewildering to hear a song such as ‘Watch Out for the Cannonball’, a sort of jittery modern American soul jag, play out in the same sitting as the Fleetwood Mac-meets-James Taylor feeling of ‘O Nathaniel’, or the swampy ‘Resurrection Blues’. Elsewhere, organ-and-string-dappled opener ‘Isobel’ showcases his genteel, timeless vocal, as well as his vision for big band orchestration. A somewhat disparate collection, but keenly crafted and intimately delivered all the same.

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