Every so often an album comes along that reminds me why I search for good music far beyond what's on the radio and being advertised. I want music that makes me think and feel. I want music that makes me search through the lyrics to dig in deeper. I want hints at the backstory of the life of the songwriter, someone who writes out of their own experience. Those albums are great albums.
Bad Debt is the almost-new album by Hiss Golden Messenger (M.C. Taylor) and it's right in the sweet spot of that kind of greatness. Taylor recorded these songs at his kitchen table while his family, including his firstborn son, was sleeping in the winter of 2009. The original release of the album didn't last long after the CD stock was destroyed in the 2010 London riots.
Now given a proper release, we get to hear this remarkable album. It's just a man, his guitar, and his songs. Lo-fi. Simple. Oh so simple. You feel like you are sitting on the other side of a narrow room listening to songs that were written long ago and have never been so relevant. I encourage you to pick it up and sit under their spell.
Reviews worth reading --> Pitchfork 8.2/10 - "an album deeply concerned with the nature of faith and man’s relationship with his Maker" | Paste 8.6/10 - "just fundamentally phenomenal" | Slant 4/5 - "utterly ageless, like a surviving relic from time immemorial"