Hiss Golden Messenger
Durham-based Hiss Golden Messenger comes to the Carolina Theatre on Nov. 16 for a very special homecoming show in historic Fletcher Hall.
On November 2, Hiss Golden Messenger released Devotion: Songs About Rivers and Spirits and Children, a limited-edition deluxe box set which includes remastered reissues of the classic Hiss albums Bad Debt, Poor Moon, and Haw as well as Virgo Fool, a rarities compilation that will only be available physically as part of this collection. Both the four-CD and four-LP sets are housed in a cloth-wrapped, foil-stamped slipcase and feature original iconographic artwork by Sam Smith, an exclusive foldout poster, full lyrics, and new liner notes by New Yorker writer Amanda Petrusich and MOJO editor John Mulvey. The vinyl set also includes a digital download of all tracks.
“Come the brightest, brightest day, the north wind’s gonna be a friend of mine.”
What struck me about Hiss Golden Messenger—and my absorption in these early records was instantaneous—is that Taylor’s songs are completely and unfailingly honest about how stupid and frustrating it is to be a person. But then, of course, he finds magnificence anyway: “Hallelujah anyhow” is how he put it later.
Even on his most raw and unadorned album, Bad Debt, or on his most troubled, Haw, Taylor is still striving for that next level. Sometimes the epiphanies arrive through lyrical graft; “I’m trying to learn,” he vows, emblematically, on “Sufferer (Love My Conqueror).” Sometimes, they manifest musically, as if the collective endeavour of a band can provide consolation, for both the participants and the listeners, in even the darkest of times. It’s these imperatives, I think, that have made me turn to Hiss Golden Messenger records more than any others over the past decade; Taylor’s issues are all too understandable, but his creative solutions to them are almost mystically uplifting to a non-musician like myself. His music articulates an untethered spiritual meaning, one which can make sense to those of us who have no coherent system of belief. On these albums, you can hear a mission, a compassionate vision, being improvised and fleshed out exponentially, as Taylor’s sense of community and his place in it grows with every release. Also, they really fucking swing.
No Outside Food or Drink
No Video Recording Devices