Hiss Golden Messenger, the alternative-country project of singer-songwriter M.C. Taylor, has announced the release of a new album titled Heart Like A Levee via Merge Records, due out on Oct. 7.
Merge has shared the first cut from the record, a beautiful acoustic strummer called “Biloxi,” which you can listen to below. In addition, Taylor released a statement about the album’s creation:
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?
Those who pre-order the deluxe edition CD or LP will also receive a second album of unreleased material called Vestapol. That collection, limited to 2,000 copies, holds eight tracks recorded by Taylor during the same time period as Heart Like A Levee.
If “Biloxi” isn’t enough to whet your Hiss Golden Messenger appetite, check out live Paste Cloud audio below of him performing “Busted Note,” off his essential 2013 album Haw, during a 2012 Daytrotter Session.