Hiss Golden Messenger ‘Jump For Joy’ On New Album, Announces Fall Tour & Shares Groovy ‘Nu-Grape’ Single

Watch the “Nu-Grape” video featuring Johnny Fritz and a cameo by Andy Frasco.

By Scott Bernstein Jun 1, 2023 7:14 am PDT

Hiss Golden Messenger (M.C. Taylor) returns with Jump For Joy, a new studio album featuring lead single “Nu-Grape” due out via Merge Records on August 25. Taylor and the HGM live band will embark on an extensive fall tour of North America in support of the record.

M.C. Taylor wrote 14 songs for the follow-up to 2021’s Quietly Blowing It that are described in press materials as “the sharpest and most autobiographical that [he] has written under the Hiss name.” The guitarist and singer/songwriter embodied a character Taylor created named Michael Crow, a teenaged dreamer ready to tackle the world. As the name implies Jump For Joy is filled with hopeful and optimistic songs.

“The tunes on Jump For Joy were composed in free moments throughout 2022, a year during which Hiss was on the road more or less constantly,” Taylor explained. “And perhaps because the post-pandemic energy out in the world felt so chaotic and uncertain, I found myself thinking a lot about the role that music has played in my life and how exactly I ended up in the rarefied position of leading a band and crew all over the globe through dingy graffiti-scrawled green rooms, venerated music halls, dust-blown roadside motels. Sometimes playing in front of 5,000; sometimes 200. Sleeping sitting up. Laughing because my stomach hurts. Not being able to fall asleep at 3 a.m. in some anonymous bed because my mind is spinning with anxiety of depression or adrenaline, or because my ears are still ringing. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, then robbing Paul to pay Peter back. Over and over again. It’s an outlaw life but one, I’m coming to realize, that makes me happy.”

Taylor assembled his live band — guitarist Chris Boerner, bassist Alex Bingham, keyboardist Sam Fribush and drummer Nick Falk — at the famed Sonic Ranch studio in Tornillo, Texas to record Jump For Joy over two weeks late last fall. M.C. produced the album with longtime collaborator Scott Hirsch handling engineering duties.

Hiss Golden Messenger will play three home state shows in Saxapahaw, North Carolina September 15 – 17. The band then begins the tour in earnest on October 19 in Richmond, Virginia. HGM will cross the country through December with dozens of dates on the books including shows at New York City’s Webster Hall, Metro in Chicago, Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl, Antone’s in Austin and many more. A New Year’s Eve Run is slated for December 30 and 31 at Charleston Pour House in Charleston, South Carolina. Tickets go on sale next Friday, June 9 at 10 a.m. local time.

See the complete list of Hiss Golden Messenger dates and the “Nu-Grape” video below:

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Lead single “Nu-Grape” takes its name from a brand of grape soda sold throughout the Southeast. The track features backing vocals from Aoife O’Donovan and Amy Helm. M.C. Taylor tapped Rett Rogers to direct the hilarious video. Johnny Fritz co-stars in the visual which includes a cameo by Andy Frasco.

Watch Hiss Golden Messenger’s “Nu-Grape” video below:

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