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Hiss Golden Messenger

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  • Lateness Of Dancers Lateness Of Dancers Quick View

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    Lateness Of Dancers

    "Mystical country, like an eerie yellowing photograph." --David Bowie

    Lateness of Dancers is the fifth full-length from Hiss Golden Messenger. It's an open, confident, immediate album, and it feels, at times, like a direct response to the darkness of Taylor's last record, 2013's Haw, or to the searching of 2010's Bad Debt, the stunning acoustic LP he made at his kitchen table shortly after the birth of his son. Lateness of Dancers was recorded in a tin-roofed barn outside of Hillsborough, North Carolina, last fall and includes many of Taylor's longtime collaborators, like Phil and Brad Cook of Megafaun, the guitarist William Tyler, and his erstwhile recording partner Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig of Mountain Man contributes backing vocals; her tender, wooly voice both complements and challenges Taylor's.

    The record takes its name from a Eudora Welty story, which is noteworthy not because of its origins-although there are hints of Welty in Taylor's work, and not just Welty but Flannery O'Connor and Faulkner and Barry Hannah and Larry Brown and the whole pantheon of brutal and exquisite southern writers-but because Taylor is the type of person who recognizes the beauty in a phrase like that. It is a record about self-discovery and self-knowledge, and how impossible it is to outsmart yourself. I don't know how you learn a lesson like that, except the hard way. "The misery of love is a funny thing / The more it hurts / The more you think / You can stand a little pain," he sings on "Mahogany Dread," one of Lateness' most telling tracks. These are the kinds of lies we tell ourselves to feel the things we want to feel, even when those pleasures are buried in a whole lot of hurt.

    1. Lucia
    2. Saturday's Song
    3. Mahogany Dread
    4. Day O Day (A Love So Free)
    5. Lateness Of Dancers
    6. I'm A Raven (Shake Children
    7. Black Dog Wind (Rose of Roses)
    8. Southern Grammar
    9. Chapter & Verse (Ione's Song)
    10. Drum
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    150 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Heart Like A Levee Heart Like A Levee Quick View

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    Heart Like A Levee

    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?

    M.C. Taylor

    Durham, NC

    1. Biloxi
    2. Tell Her I'm Just Dancing
    3. Heart Like a Levee
    4. Like a Mirror Loves a Hammer
    5. Smoky's Song
    6. Cracked Windshield
    7. As the Crow Flies
    8. Happy Day (Sister My Sister)
    9. Say It Like You Mean It
    10. Ace of Cups
    11. Highland Grace
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    Vinyl LP 45 RPM - Sealed Buy Now
  • Follow The Music Follow The Music Quick View

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    Follow The Music

    Alice Gerrard has one of those voices that harkens back to the likes of Sara and Maybelle. She is the real deal with the right stuff and hasn't forgotten
    where country music came from.
    - Emmylou Harris (June, 2014)

    Produced by Hiss Golden Messenger's M.C. Taylor.

    The trailblazing folksinger famously collaborated with Hazel Dickens. Their classic recordings for Folkways and Rounder in the '60's and 70's rank among
    the most influential recordings in folk music history, (All Music Guide), and laid the groundwork for many artists, especially female bluegrass and folk

    'Follow The Music' features traditional tunes and original songs by Alice, produced by Hiss Golden Messenger's M.C. Taylor, and features members of
    Hiss Golden Messenger and Megafaun.

    1. Bear Me Away
    2. Strange Land
    3. Wedding Dress
    4. You Take Me For Granted
    5. Follow The Music
    6. Boll Weevil
    7. Love Was The Price
    8. Teardrops Falling In The Snow
    9. Foolish Lovers Waltz
    10. The Vulture
    11. Goodbyes
    Alice Gerrard
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Nansemond Nansemond Quick View

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    Nathan Bowles is like my spirit animal. - Kurt Vile

    A cinematic suite of contemplative, elastic set pieces that conjures the titular Virginian river/tribe/extinct county, the second solo album by Nathan Bowles (Black Twig Pickers, Pelt, Steve Gunn, Hiss Golden Messenger) deploys banjo, percussion, piano, and voice to explore the rugged country between the poles of Appalachian old-time traditions and ecstatic, minimalist drone. Featuring Tom Carter.

    1. Sleepy Lake Bike Club
    2. The Smoke Swallower
    3. Jonah/Poor Liza Jane
    4. Chuckatuck
    5. J.H. for M.P.
    6. Golden Floaters/Hog Jank
    7. Sleepy Lake Tire Swing
    Nathan Bowles
    150 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Where In Our Woods Where In Our Woods Quick View

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    Where In Our Woods

    For the past 14 years, Elephant Micah's Joseph O'Connell has quietly self-released his music, sometimes collaborating with the psych-folk imprint Time-Lag Records or other very small labels. Despite the project's almost secretive status, Elephant Micah has repeatedly caught the attention of NPR, and has been championed by an impressive cohort of like-minded artists including Jason Molina, Hiss Golden Messenger, Dark Dark Dark, and Hurray for the Riff Raff.
    1. By the Canal
    2. No Underground
    3. Albino Animals
    4. Slow Time Vultures
    5. Demise of the Bible Birds
    6. Monarch Gardeners
    7. Light Side
    8. Rare Beliefs
    Elephant Micah
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Impossible Truth Impossible Truth Quick View

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    Impossible Truth

    Impossible Truth is William Tyler's debut album on Merge Records. Rooted in apocalyptic expectation and bittersweet nostalgia, Tyler describes the record as "my '70s singer-songwriter record; it just doesn't have any words."

    Impossible Truth will challenge your ideas of what an instrumental guitar record can and should be. As his friend and tour mate M.C. Taylor from Hiss Golden Messenger puts it, "William will worry a phrase-some tangled chordal wormhole-until you are certain it's all that exists. He'll take you over the stiles, he'll love you up and down, and then he'll make you cry for the world and what we've done to it. This double LP comes in a gatefold jacket with a download coupon for the full album.

    1. Country of Illusion
    2. The Geography of Nowhere
    3. Cadillac Desert
    4. We Can't Go Home Again
    5. A Portrait of Sarah
    6. Hotel Catatonia
    7. The Last Residents of Westfall
    8. The World Set Free
    William Tyler
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Fever Dream Fever Dream Quick View

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    Fever Dream

    180 Gram Vinyl In A Wide Spine Gatefold Package

    Four-Panel Printed Fold-Out Poster

    I am proud to announce that my new solo album Fever Dream - the follow-up to Hendra - will be released globally on my label Unmade Road through Caroline International.

    Fever Dream was self-produced at London's famous RAK Studio 2, and mastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig in Maine. We kept Hendra's sonic template of open-tuned folk-jazz and distorted string-bent rock, and went for a new grainy intensity. Bernard Butler joins me again. Bruno Ellingham engineered and mixed. We just did most of it live. Small room, small band. A harder edge. Instruments spilling into each other. Martin Ditcham on drums. New recruit Rex Horan on double bass. And I've sprinkled guest vocal cameos from Boston's dream-folk singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler and Hiss Golden Messenger's M.C. Taylor.

    Have fun.

    -Ben Watt

    1. Gradually
    2. Fever Dream
    3. Between Two Fires
    4. Winter's Eve
    5. Women's Company
    6. Faces Of My Friends
    7. Running With The Front Runners
    8. Never Goes Away
    9. Bricks And Wood
    10. New Year Of Grace (feat. Marissa Nadler)
    Ben Watt
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Summer of the Shark The Summer of the Shark Quick View

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    The Summer of the Shark

    First Time Pressed To Vinyl

    LP Pressed To White Vinyl

    Portastatic's The Summer of the Shark will be available for the first time on vinyl
    as part of a monthly series of reissues to mark the 25th anniversary of Merge

    Mac McCaughan, co-founder of Merge Records and frontman of the band
    Superchunk, began recording solo albums under the name Portastatic in the
    early '90s. Beginning with this album, Portastatic evolved from a lo-fi side
    project to become McCaughan's main focus throughout Superchunk's long
    hiatus in the early '00s.

    McCaughan wrote the songs on The Summer of the Shark in 2001 while
    Superchunk was on tour in support of Here's to Shutting Up, which was
    released mere days after the September 11 attacks and would be the band's
    last studio album for nine years. The resulting batch of songs was the last
    Portastatic album recorded almost entirely at home; it was also the most
    emotionally resonant, and musically compact collection to date.

    Upon the album's release, then Chicago Tribune reporter John Cook wrote
    of the album: "It is the most effective and moving musical answer yet to what
    has happened to us over the last two years. Faced with an enormous
    catastrophe, McCaughan elected to make a small record. There are no heroes
    rushing up stairwells and no dissections of good and evil-only scared,
    confused people and local heartbreaks."

    Recorded at McCaughan's home studio in Chapel Hill, The Summer of the
    Shark included contributions from Janet Weiss (Wild Flag, Quasi, Sleater-Kinney), Tony Crow (Lambchop), Margaret White (Versus, Matt Pond PA),
    Matthew McCaughan (Bon Iver, Hiss Golden Messenger), Aaron Oliva, and
    John Plymale.

    1. Oh Come Down
    2. In the Lines
    3. Windy Village
    4. Through a Rainy Lens
    5. Don't Disappear
    6. Swimming Through Tires
    7. Chesapeake
    8. Noisy Night
    9. Clay Cakes
    10. Drill Me
    11. Paratrooper
    12. Hey Salty
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Grace & Lies Grace & Lies Quick View

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    Grace & Lies

    On the surface, the two concepts Grace and Lies couldn't seem more different. One of them restores, the other ruins. One of them forgives, the other deceives. But to hear Kim Krans, frontwoman for Family Band, tell it, the two aren't opposed, they're intertwined. Grace and Lies are two characters I envisioned last summer, she says, by way of explaining the haunting title track on the group's second record. I couldn't get them out of my head. I saw them in a field behind our cabin, singing and slow dancing, like ghosts, sort of. They're the rulers of beauty and false promises. And we all fall for them from time to time."

    And therein lies the beautiful dichotomy of Family Band. A collaboration between visual-artist-turned-singer Kim Krans and her husband, onetime heavy-metal guitarist Jonny Ollsin (Children, S.T.R.E.E.T.S.), the merging of the couple's sensibilities makes for music that's simultaneously elegant and visceral. Their songs are as stark as bare trees in winter, Krans' baleful alto swooping mournfully over Ollsin's glimmering guitar like a black crow against a grey sky.

    As its title implies Grace & Lies is equal parts light and shadow, evoking the mystery and terror of early Cat Power, the ghostly aura of Warpaint, with whom Family Band toured in 2011, and the hushed longing of prime-era Cowboy Junkies. Though they explored similar territory, both sonically and lyrically, on their self-released debut, Miller Path, on Grace their canvas is wider, the greys lusher, the blacks deeper. Assisted by bass and lapsteel player Scott Hirsch (Hiss Golden Messenger), the couple has made a record that boldly confronts life's darker questions.

    Miller Path was recorded mostly at our cabin upstate, while Jonny was busy with his metal band and I was focused on my visual arts career, Krans explains. It was my first time recording music and I didn't know how to steer the wheel. I didn't even know what the wheel was. But with Grace & Lies, we all decided what the overarching atmosphere and mood of the record should be. I made big drawings of each song in the control room, with all the parts and changes illustrated, and we built those visions with sound.

    That meticulous planning is evident throughout. Night Song revolves around a single, dazzling guitar riff that spirals like stars in the night sky; Ride builds steadily to an ominous, spectacular finale, timpanis booming and guitars gathering like storm clouds in a clear sky; and Again, which boasts production and instrumental work by Dan Rossen of Grizzly Bear, surges forward, a roaring river beneath a sheet of ice. Grace & Lies is a document of a band staring down life's larger riddles: love, death, loss and deceit.

    1. Night Song
    2. Lace
    3. Moonbeams
    4. Ride
    5. Your Name
    6. Again
    7. Grace & Lies
    8. Keeper
    9. Rest
    Family Band
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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