MC Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger) & Cameron Ralston Detail Revelators Sound System Debut Album

Listen to the new project’s lead single, “George The Revelator.”

By Andy Kahn May 12, 2022 8:44 am PDT

MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger and Spacebomb’s Cameron Ralston formed Revelators Sound System and detailed the new project’s debut album. The forthcoming record, Revelators, will be released on June 17 through 37d03d and features the lead single, “George The Revelator.”

Taylor talked about the Revelators Sound System recording sessions in an October 2020 interview for The JamBase Podcast. Speaking about the project, Taylor stated:

I also started this other project that is ongoing that I’m really excited about that is not a Hiss record. It’s hard to even explain what it sounds like. It‘s not songwriting, it’s some combination of partly ambient, partly sort of rhythmic – just rhythm music. It’s me, a couple of the folks from the Spacebomb band, Cameron Ralston in particular, who’s a dear friend of mine.

Because there’s no boundaries on it, I don’t really know how far developed it is. A month ago I would have said it’s probably almost done. But now that I hear what Cameron is working on with it – now I’m like this is getting really, really interesting. He’s adding stuff to it that I wasn’t even thinking of before, so now it’s a whole different type of thing.

It’s just music that has always been a big part of my life, but maybe has been a little hard to spot in Hiss Golden Messenger records.I listen to a lot of jazz, I listen to a lot of devotional jazz. I listen to a lot of dub reggae from the 1970s. And that stuff rears its head on Hiss records, sort of, but this one – part of it was I just didn’t want to hear my voice at all. I didn’t want to be writing words. I didn’t want to sing, really. I just wanted to work on the compositions and play guitar.

Taylor and Ralston recorded Revelators in 2020 and 2021, mostly at Taylor’s home in Durham, North Carolina as well as at Spacebomb in Richmond, Virginia, where Ralston is the in-house bassist. Others who contributed to the album include pianist Daniel Clarke, saxophonist J.C. Kuhl, percussionist Reggie Pace and drummer J.T. Bates. A portion of the the proceeds from Revelators will be donated to the Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

Taylor returned to The JamBase Podcast for an August 2021 interview. The Revelators album was again discussed, with Taylor further describing the project:

I think part of my process now is more [about] throwing myself curveballs, actually. Coming up with new ways to develop sounds that might be interesting to me.

I made a record, I might have mentioned it when we were talking [before] – not a Hiss Record – that will come out next spring under the name of Revelators …

It’s such a cool record. And that really came from this idea of wanting to work with sound in different ways and incorporate different influences that might not show up on Hiss records in the way they do on the Revelators stuff.

There’s no singing for one thing. It’s all instrumental. It goes from super cacophonous free jazz to super ambient with orchestra pads. It’s hard to describe. I think that some people will hear that record and be like, I totally can hear how this is coming from the guy from Hiss Golden Messenger and I think maybe other people will hear it and be like, I don’t get this and I don’t like this.

“We only ever talked about what emotion we were going for,” Ralston said in a press release. “We never talked about gear or fidelity.”

“This record is about grief,” Taylor added. “Grief, and whatever comes after. We were looking for a way to communicate that musically.”

Initially conceived on May 26, 2020, the day after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, “George The Revelator” can be heard in the video created by Moses Sun and Bill Jones for Moses Sun Studio below:

Revelators Tracklist

  1. Grieving
  2. Collected Water
  3. Bury the Bell
  4. George the Revelator

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