Hiss Golden Messenger are a band out of North Carolina helmed by songwriter M.C. Taylor. If you’re unfamiliar with their work, you can read this great New Yorker profile on the group written by Amanda Petrusich, one of the foremost folk music critics of our era.
After signing with Merge in 2014, HGM released their second album for the label, Heart Like A Levee this year in early October. In conjunction with that record, they’ve done a Facebook Live performance of a couple songs off that album for The New York Times. The band tackle “Biloxi” and “Like A Mirror Loves A Hammer” and take some audience questions, which included what music in North Carolina is like and how it influenced the band’s own sound.
Taylor and the other band members — which includes Phil Cook — also addressed their current tour dates, talked about the impetus behind their new album, and discussed important historical folk bands. Following an audience question about Leonard Cohen’s recent death and his influence, Taylor described Cohen’s style saying “he bent music to his will” which may be the best description of that man’s work I have ever heard.
They finished up with an older track, “The Serpent Is Kind (Compared To Man),” which is off an album of the same name. You don’t have to reach far to consider what events might have prompted the band to include this track in their set. Watch it all above.