This is an album I’ve been anticipating all year, Hiss Golden Messenger’s Lateness of Dancers. The North Carolina based duo of singer/songwriter M.C. Taylor and Scott Hirsch have been releasing records as Hiss Golden Messenger for a little over five years, but have played music together for much, much longer. Their blend of folk, rock, country and pretty much everything else has hit a sweet spot for me since the first time I heard it.  Lateness of Dancers is due out on September 9th, and features Brad and Phil Cook of Megafaun, guitarist William Tyler, and Alexandra Sauser-Monning of Mountain Main on backing vocals.

From the first track, “Lucia” M.C. Taylor channels his inner Bob Dylan, and throughout the record, you can recognize the influence bands like The Allmans, The Band, Dylan, and Neil Young have had on him. There’s beautiful tracks like “Day O Day (A Love So Free), and “Black Dog Wind (Rose of Roses)” and it’s got a few great rockers like “Mahogany Dread”, “I’m a Raven (Snake Children)” and “Southern Grammar”.  The album just feels incredibly well produced, from the added piano in “Lateness of Dancers” accentuating chords to the effects that add a little psych feel to “Southern Grammar” just add so much to the feel of the album.

This was one of my most anticipated records of 2014, and I am so glad it lived up to and exceeded all kinds of expectations I had set for it.  There’s a lot of great music being released September 9th this year, including Ryan Adams, Justin Townes Earle, Robert Plant and Interpol and that’s a tough group to contend with, but Taylor has made an album that deserves to be in the conversation with Lateness of Dancers.

You can stream the album via Pitchfork Advance here.

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