Hiss Golden Messenger – Lateness Of Dancers [album review]

by Woody on September 9, 2014


When I read that Michael Taylor, the main component of Hiss Golden Messenger, had compiled William Tyler, Megafaun members Phil and Brad Cook, Mountain Man member Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and long-time musical cohort Scott Hirsch for his Merge debut; I was literally giddy with excitement. That is a collection of pros, not making music for any other reason other than love and an undying commitment to their craft. Between that info and the nugget of Brother Do You Know The Road? was enough

In a time where we all seem to celebrate the fresh new kids on the block, it is nice to see persistence being rewarded. While I’ve only discovered Hiss Golden Messenger in the last couple of years, Taylor & Hirsch have been at this for quite some time. I always find it rewarding when a band has toiled around for some time starts to get their due. Like Strand of Oaks signing to Secretly Canadian and Spider Bags joining HGM on Merge. They’ve banged around for years and are now getting the recognition they deserve

Lateness of Dancers continues the brilliance of their prior work, with echoes of soul of Van Morrison & some of the easy-going Grateful Dead funk and R&B jams. Lateness of Dancers eases out of the speakers in a way that’s so familiar that it is easy to lose track of its brilliance. But as you listen repeatedly, the subtle brilliance of Taylor’s songwriting and Hirsch’s production shines.

Take the lead single, Saturday’s Song. At first blush, it’s easy just to get caught up in the anthem for the working man, the bouncing melody of the keys getting you through to the weekend. But my goodness if there is a better jam this year than the end of that song, please let me know. Drum, the closing track, is a remake of the closing track off of Bad Debt. This time it is fleshed out as a back-porch slice of Americana. Sauser-Monnig brings so much goodness to this track that is easy to lose track of Phil Cook plucking away.

I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting of Michael Taylor. But listening to his music and reading his tweets, I find him to be a thoughtful and just man. A man who has such belief that he isn’t afraid to question it. He’s the type of guy you could start talking to over dinner and next thing you know the sun’s coming up; a much better person for your time.

On a related note, you have to here them play Spoon’s The Beast and Dragon, Adored. It is unreal.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Hiss Golden Messenger is here

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