Photo by Andy Tennille
Last October, North Carolina folk artist M.C. Taylor released his latest album as Hiss Golden Messenger, Heart Like a Levee. Now, less than 12 months later, the indie folk songwriter is back with the follow-up. It’s titled Hallelujah Anyhow and due out September 22nd through Merge Records.
The forthcoming studio effort collects 10 new tracks with titles such as “Jenny of the Roses”, “Lost Out in the Darkness”, “Harder Rain”, and “When the Wall Comes Down”. All were penned by Taylor and recorded with the help of Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Vocal harmonies were contributed by Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White.
As its title and vivid artwork (seen below) suggest, Hallelujah Anyhow is built on themes of an uplifting, encouraging nature. “I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope,” Taylor writes in a lengthy press statement.
“That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.”
Check out the artwork and full tracklist below.
Hallelujah Anyhow Artwork:
Hallelujah Anyhow Tracklist:
01. Jenny of the Roses
02. Lost Out in the Darkness
04. Harder Rain
05. I Am the Song
06. Gulfport You’ve Been on My Mind
07. John the Gun
08. Domino (Time Will Tell)
09. Caledonia, My Love
10. When the Wall Comes Down
Taylor will hit the road for a North American tour the next few months, including dates alongside Mumford & Sons.
Hiss Golden Messenger 2017 Tour Dates:
07/26 – Portland, ME @ One Longfellow Square ^
08/05-06 – Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon
08/12-13 – Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Folk Festival
08/26 – Arrington, VA @ Lockn’ Music Festival
09/14 – Nashville, TN @ Americanafest
09/15-17 – Bristol, VA @ Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion
09/19 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena #
09/20 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena #
09/21 – Orlando, FL @ Amway Center #
10/20 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
10/21 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
10/22 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi
10/23 – St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House
10/24 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
10/26 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
10/29 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
10/30 – Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater
11/02 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
11/03 – Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore Cabaret
11/04 – Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
11/05 – Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
11/07 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
11/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
11/10 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
11/11 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
11/14 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
11/15 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
11/16 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
11/17 – New Orleans, LA @ Tipitina’s
11/18 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
11/19 – Decatur, GA @ Eddie’s Attic
12/06 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
12/07 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
12/08 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
12/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
^ = solo performance
# = w/ Mumford & Sons
Taylor’s full statement on the new album:
“I’m from nowhere. That’s the way I feel about it now, right at this moment. Music took me and made me and gave me a purpose and I built my world with it, and now my geography is a musical one, forever. And when I break, when I think about running as far as I can, I remember that there is nothing that does me like music, and I might as well be a poor man in a world of my own devising. Hallelujah anyhow.
Rhythm? I learned it over twenty years in the back of rented vans, in attics and back rooms—hard places to get to, harder places to get out of. And now rhythm is my clock and I live by it. We all do. But it’ll kill you if you’re not careful. It might kill you even if you are. Hallelujah anyhow.
I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.
Whatcha gonna do when the wall comes down?
When the wall comes down?
What you ought to do is let it lie—let it lie
And in the gathering darkness vow to never go back
It was built by man and you can tear it down
Tear it down, tear it down
Step back, Jack, from the darkness
I’ve seen darker things than night. Hallelujah anyhow.”
Revisit Heart Like a Levee single “Biloxi”: