Critically acclaimed North Carolina indie band Hiss Golden Messenger has announced the September 20th release of its highly anticipated new album Terms of Surrender (Merge Records).
Led by the introspective songwriting of M.C. Taylor, Terms of Surrender finds the charismatic bandleader ruminating on complex emotions in the wake of a personally turbulent year. Over the course of six albums, fans of Hiss Golden Messenger have connected with the unique way Taylor identifies and articulates deeply personal sentiments and observations, all from a seemingly vulnerable place. There is always an underlying sense of hope and resolution throughout his extensive body of work that makes his songs relatable. Hiss Golden Messenger is also an extraordinary band that infuses elements of rock, gospel, alternative, Americana, and folk that make their music easily accessible and highly infectious. Terms of Surrender encompasses all of these key elements and brings them to new heights.
The album’s ten songs touch on a myriad of emotions, inner conflict, and questions. Starting with opening track “I Need a Teacher,” (below) the narrator longs for guidance to help navigate life’s endless challenges. The video for the song (Seen Here) was shot during the statewide North Carolina Association of Educators’ Day of Action demonstration and features a glance into the eyes and faces of real teachers, children, and families that illustrate the humanity and what is at stake for our future. The easygoing groove of “Bright Direction (You’re a Dark Star Now)” hangs low as Taylor’s lyrics caution of fleeting short-term fulfillment in lieu of something more substantive. In “My Wing,” fear is harnessed and utilized to push forward instead of becoming a paralyzing presence. In the haunting “Cat’s Eye Blue,” lines in a relationship are crossed, making it difficult to ever step back. The stunning and poignant title track embodies the emotional threads that run throughout Terms of Surrender, featuring a fragile, sincere, and honest vocal from Taylor that serves as the perfect conclusion to the album’s journey.
Terms of Surrender was produced by Taylor and Brad Cook and features guest appearances by Jenny Lewis, Josh Kaufman and Aaron Dessner of The National. The album was recorded at Dessner’s Long Pond studio in upstate New York, with additional recording at Sound City in Los Angeles, Haptown Studio in Nashville and Overdub Lane in Durham, North Carolina.
Hiss Golden Messenger recently announced an extensive fall tour in support of Terms of Surrender. See a full list of tour dates at HissGoldenMessenger.com.