Hiss Golden Messenger – “Bad Debt”

Don’t even ask how I found out about this album.  I admit I wasn’t up to speed in knowing about it in the first place (and by the sounds of it, I should have been) and it has been quite a great find I have to say!

Without looking into the album too much, I started listening because I found a Soundcloud stream somewhere that was off of a forum thread, etc, etc, etc.  So let’s start there – this is the song that first caught me.

Balthazar’s Song – Hiss Golden Messenger by blackmaps

So it’s essentially a fully acoustic lament on life.  The lyrics are honest, the sound of guitar strumming is familiar, frontman Michael C. Taylor (or Jai ‘Slim’ Diamond as he often is known) sings with a voice that is restrained and just cracks a little under the melody.  Then I listened to the next track from the Black Maps release.

No Lord Is Free – Hiss Golden Messenger by blackmaps

At this point, I was pretty much sold on this lo-fi album and there was no turning back, so I picked it up on eMusic.  I mean songs that sound to be single track and come off this easy to listen to is something that just doesn’t happen that often.  In fact I do tend to obsess over an album I like and over listen immediately  (which is currently happening at this point) but it is holding strong.  The sounds are essentially folky-bluesy-lofi and of the sad bastard variety, so what’s not to like?  Some might be put off by the un-production (or production to sound like the album is not overly produced), but that is what makes it work – it’s scratchy, unpolished and sounds like real life.  You know Taylor created these songs, plays these songs and possibly even lives them.  I am in debt to “Bad Debt” you could say.

RIYL: Early Phosphorescent & Elephant Micah

Find more on Hiss Golden Messenger on Blackmaps, Facebook and website.
Purchase Bad Debt on iTunes, eMusic, Amazon & Picadilly Records.