Photo by Graham Tolbert
Hiss Golden Messenger, the musical project led by M.C. Taylor, are set to return with their upcoming studio album, Jump For Joy, on August 25 via Merge Records. In celebration of the announcement of the album Hiss Golden Messenger released the project’s lead single, “Nu-Grape,” and shared details on Hiss Golden Messenger’s extensive fall tour across North America in support of the record.
For the creation of Jump For Joy, Taylor penned 14 songs that are described as his sharpest and most autobiographical work under the Hiss Golden Messenger moniker. Drawing inspiration from a character he created named Michael Crow, a young dreamer ready to take on the world, Taylor crafted a collection of bright and upbeat songs.
Reflecting on the creative process, Taylor shared, “The tunes on Jump For Joy were composed in free moments throughout 2022, a year during which Hiss Golden Messenger was constantly on the road. The chaotic and uncertain post-pandemic energy in the world made me contemplate the role that music has played in my life and how I ended up leading a band and crew all over the globe. From dingy graffiti-scrawled green rooms to venerated music halls, from dust-blown roadside motels to playing in front of different-sized crowds, this outlaw life, despite its challenges, brings me happiness.”
To bring Jump For Joy to life, Taylor assembled his live band, consisting of guitarist Chris Boerner, bassist Alex Bingham, keyboardist Sam Fribush, and drummer Nick Falk, at the renowned Sonic Ranch studio in Tornillo, Texas. Over a span of two weeks late last fall, they recorded the album, with Taylor serving as the producer and longtime collaborator Scott Hirsch handling engineering duties.
The first taste of the album is grape flavored and arrives with a humorous accompanying music video directed by Rett Rogers. In the clip, Taylor and Johnny Fritz dish out a surreal take on live performance and selling out. Notably, the song’s name is inspired by a brand of grape soda found in the Southeast and the track features backing vocals from Amy Helm along with Aoife O’Donovan and includes a cameo by the stunning Andy Frasco. Check out the video below.
Hiss Golden Messenger live shows will start with three hometown performances in Saxapahaw, N.C., from September 15 to 17. The official tour will kick off on Oct. 19 in Richmond, Va., and spans the country until December. The tour includes notable venues such as Webster Hall in New York City, Metro in Chicago, Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., Antone’s in Austin, Texas and more. To ring in the new year, Hiss Golden Messenger have planned a special New Year’s Eve Run on Dec. 30 and 31 at Charleston Pour House in Charleston, S.C.
Tickets for the tour go on sale next Friday, June 9, at 10 a.m. local time. Learn more and find tickets here.