Hiss Golden Messenger took things slowly in 2020 after firing off a string of consistently productive years: Between 2016 and 2019, the M.C. Taylor group released five albums. 2019’s Terms Of Surrender, the group’s most recent album, earned the band some Grammy consideration this year, as the record is up for the Best Americana Album award. Now they’ve returned with their first new music since that album, a single called “Sanctuary.”
The track is a breezy and thoroughly pleasant slice of ’70s-inspired folk-rock on which Taylor reflects on how things have been lately, singing, “Feeling bad, feeling blue / Can’t get out of my own mind / but I know how to sing about it.” The song’s video features Taylor singing the track in front of a large American flag, as well as other people getting in front of the camera to lip-sync along.
Taylor says of the track:
“Over the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we care for ourselves and each other, and how hard it is to live truthfully in a world that is so tangled. ‘We sell the world to buy fire, our way lighted by burning men,’ says the poet Wendell Berry. The song ‘Sanctuary’ is one small piece of my own personal reckoning with what it feels like to search for some kind of shelter in the storm. Fare thee well, John Prine, AKA Handsome Johnny, a speaker of truth if ever there was one.”
Watch the “Sanctuary” video above.