Hiss Golden Messenger is releasing a holiday album this week. O Come All Ye Faithful will be out in just two days, featuring an assortment of Christmas traditionals, M.C. Taylor originals, and covers of songs by Spiritualized, Woody Guthrie, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. It features the North Carolina folk-rock band’s usual assortment of players plus guest appearances from Aoife O’Donovan, Nathaniel Rateliff, Erin Rae, and Buddy Miller. There’s also a 2xLP version of the album available including six dub remixes.
In a press release, Taylor explains the thinking behind the project:
Big, brash holiday music — the type that we hear in big-box stores in the middle of December — has never resonated with me, and this past year it felt absolutely dissonant. I wanted to make a seasonal record that felt more in step with the way that I, and so many others, experience this time of year: quiet, contemplative, searching and bittersweet. The intention was to make a seasonal record with vibe.
Ahead of the album’s release this Friday, Taylor is sharing “Grace,” one of his original compositions. It sounds way more like your average Hiss Golden Messenger song than your average Christmas song, but there’s definitely a bit of seasonal warmth to it. Taylor says the song is about keeping a light for those that are struggling or lost or confused or grieving: the gone ones, our children, poets, teachers.”
Hear “Grace” below.
01 “Hung Fire”
02 “O Come All Ye Faithful” (Traditional)
04 “By the Lights of St. Stephen”
05 “Shine a Light” (Spiritualized Cover)
06 “Joy to the World” (Traditional)
07 “Silent Night” (Traditional)
08 “Hanukkah Dance” (Woody Guthrie Cover)
09 “As Long As I Can See the Light” (Creedence Clearwater Revival Cover)
O Come All Ye Faithful is out 10/22 on Merge.