Hiss Golden Messenger is the current recording name of MC Taylor, also known as Jai ‘Slim’ Diamond, a Californian songwriter whose work is spun from the very brightest threads of the Cosmic American Songbook. Like lost classics pulled through the slipstream and captured for a contemporary audience, Taylor’s deeply lyrical meditations tell of sin, sacrifice and redemption, timeless themes drawn into songs performed with a compelling emotional resonance. Oh, and a voice that could charm the birds out of the trees.

Elements of country blues, folk and gospel all shine through a sound described by David Bowie as “Mystical country, an eerie yellowing photograph”. Two EPs are planned for release over the coming months, the first being ‘Bad Debt’ in November followed by ‘From Country Hai East Cotton’ next February. The full debut album is planned for summer 2011.

The first EP features nine solo voice and guitar pieces that hit with a gnarled beauty, each recorded in one take to single track tape over the course of a freezing North Carolina winter. ‘Bad Debt’ puts the focus firmly on Taylor’s peerless songwriting, stark and focused with echoes of John Martyn, Tim Hardin and Townes Van Zandt. It is also a spiritual set of songs, centred around Taylor’s own questions about God and belief.

Set for release from blackmaps in November 2010, listen to ‘Bad Debt’ below.

Hiss Golden Messenger ‘Bad Debt’ by blackmaps