Vinyl LP £15.49 jayf 15
LP + download on Jelly Fant Records. Edition of 600 copies.
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- Lord I Love The Rain by Hiss Golden Messenger
Here’s an LP of odds’n’sods from esteemed Americana mumbler Hiss Golden Messenger. The first side is populated by a series of unreleased offcuts from around the time of 2010’s ‘Bad Debt’ which are pleasant enough, generally home recorded mournful and straightforward acoustic songsmithery which highlight his plangent voice and tasteful, restrained guitar playing.
It’s on the other side that the real surprises come, though, with two covers and three instrumental tunes recorded for an imaginary soundtrack seeing Taylor stretched beyond his comfort zone a little to very satisfying effect. ‘Born on a Crescent Moon’ is cop movie funk with touches of jazzy brass and wah guitar over an insistent afro-funk rhythm section groove. The pairing of the tense brass and the bubbling repeato rhythms give it a sense of tropical danger that wouldn’t sound out of place in a James Bond score. Really fun.
‘War’ goes for twanging banjos and bluegrassy fiddles for a much more all-American sound which is dusty and fast-paced and has some sweet tape echo touches which drag out an unexpectedly psychedelic territory. Then ‘You Never Know’ has some smooth slide guitar and restrained Crosby Stills & Nash harmonies over a smooth summer groove that’s nestled somewhere between Dire Straits and Inner Tube.
The covers are alright too, respectful interpretations which are much better recorded than the outtakes on the first side but ultimately don’t really offer much I didn’t expect. In my biased opinion the gems on here are the instrumentals and the rest is worthy Americana padding, but the quality never dips below decent - you’re bound to be into this if you’ve enjoyed Mr Taylor’s previous records, and even if you weren’t there are a couple of tracks on here which might surprise you.
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