Just before the start of the pandemic, MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger was at a crossroads in his career. From releasing four new albums and an assortment of live records to spending most of that five year period on the road, he found himself pondering the very nature of being an artist in what has become a transactional industry.

He insists that his newest record, Quietly Blowing It, though mostly written and recorded in the spring and summer of 2020, is not what many have been quick to dub as a “Quarantine Album.”

“I really recoiled from that, at least in relation to what Quietly Blowing It is,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s a reckoning of the past five years of travel and music and my relationship to music and art and inspiration.”

And going from spending all those months on the road to spending the next year indoors, Taylor found himself with ample time to consider what his artistry and career had evolved into.

“And part of it also is thinking about what music as a job requires of me, the transactional part. As opposed to music as just a poetic and animating force in my life,” Taylor said. “I felt I needed to repair the art side of it.”

The new release finds Taylor at one of his most sincere and considerate demonstrations of songwriting yet. And while he confronts events of nationwide importance — the Black Lives Matter protests of last summer, wildfires burning across the country — he does so with his individualistic touch that feels deeply human at its core.

On “If It Comes in the Morning,” he finds himself reflecting on these traumatic events, but while still leaving a bit of space for hope, and channeling artists like The Staples and Curtis Mayfield in his songwriting.

“Maybe it’s a song about leaving space for the possibility of hope,” Taylor said. “When I wrote it I didn’t feel particularly hopeful, the world didn’t feel like it was in a particularly hopeful place, but I knew that it was important to leave space for hope, because what’s the alternative, really?”

Listen to the full interview and Home Studio Session with MC Taylor here.

 

“If it Comes in the Morning”


“Sanctuary”