MC Taylor is back with a new Hiss Golden Messenger album, titled .,. which will be out June 25 via Merge. During the height of the pandemic, between March and June of 2020, Taylor wrote over 20 songs on his own, then brought the best of those to his band who recorded the album over a week in July. "I went looking for peace,” says Taylor. “It’s not exactly a record about the state of the world -- or my world -- in 2020, but more a retrospective of the past five years of my life, painted in sort of impressionistic hues. Maybe I had the presence of mind when I was writing Quietly Blowing It to know that this was the time to go as deep as I needed to in order to make a record like this. And I got the time required in order to do that."
The first single is the soulful "If It Comes in the Morning." "The country was on fire, and I kept thinking to myself, ‘What comes next?’” says Taylor. “Initially, I didn’t know how much hope to include in the song—I wasn’t feeling particularly hopeful myself in that moment—but I felt that it was important to remember that whatever happened, most of us were going to be fortunate enough to be given another day in which to enact what I feel are the most important and fundamental parts of being alive: joy, love, peace, the willingness to keep moving forward whether the cards fall in our favor or not. And in remembering, at least, that these feelings exist, I suppose it became a song of hope. The Staple Singers and Curtis Mayfield were very good at writing these kinds of songs, and I suppose I was looking to their music as inspiration for ‘If It Comes in the Morning.’ When I got stumped on a verse, I called my friend Anaïs Mitchell, and she got me straightened out. I’m very thankful for her help.”