Hiss Golden Messenger Meets Spacebomb
In early 2018, Hiss Golden Messenger came to Spacebomb to record a track. Cameron Ralston – Spacebomb’s in-house bass player – lead the charge as Producer. The goal was nothing more than to spend time together and make something cool, and that’s exactly what happened. The resulting track, “Passing Clouds,” accompanied by a dub remix of the same track, is Hiss Golden Messenger Meets Spacebomb.
When it came time to release, M.C. Taylor from Hiss Golden Messenger suggested a charity release, and that was perfect for Spacebomb. Spacebomb Records is releasing the two-track single digitally on March 21st in the week running up to the March For Our Lives in Washington DC, as well as on 7” vinyl (pre-order available now), and all profits from the sale of the music will be donated to Everytown for Gun Safety.
Digitally, the tracks are available through all download and streaming services, including Bandcamp with a pay-what-you-want option available for those who want to give more.
M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger:
I have two children. My son is eight—almost nine—and my daughter is four and a half. They attend public schools in Durham, North Carolina. My wife—the person that I’ve traveled through life with for nearly 20 years—is a public school teacher in Durham. My mom and dad were public educators in California for the entirety of their careers. My sister is a public high school counselor. So gun attacks on schools is something that—though I would prefer not to—I spend a lot of time thinking about.
My daughter is small and slight, with her long blonde hair usually tied up in a messy braid. My wife and I joke that she has bird bones. Her eyes are huge and expressive; slate blue, like her mom’s. She wears tiny purple glasses and scuffed pink cowboy boots and ladybug print tutus. She loves her older brother fiercely and unconditionally, and knows how to push his every single button. She’s moody and magnetic, deep and unknowable to adults. As the smallest member of the family, she is the dancing emotional center around which our house revolves.
Many late nights, long after the family has all gone to sleep, she’ll stand silhouetted in our doorway long enough for me to sense her presence. I’ll lift my head from the pillow and in a small voice she’ll say, “I’m scared.” I’ll pull her into bed, putting my arms around her and pulling her close into our sleeping warmth, her breath coming slow and peaceful and regular again. And I’ll stay awake for just a moment longer, long enough to be thankful for how easy it was to calm her fears, thankful that I can protect her.
If a gunman were to enter the grounds of my daughter’s school with an assault rifle, where would she hide? She’s small, so maybe she could hide in her cubby, or maybe in the bathroom, the one without the window. Maybe she could hide under the play structure, or in the box of dress-up clothes. Would she cry out? Would she stay still and silent, her big eyes tracking the shooter’s movement? How would she metabolize her terror, this tiny four and a half year old in a ladybug tutu, without me to protect her, to pull her close? Would she wonder why we let this happen to her? Would she get that far?
Say it simple.
I’m gonna give it to you simple now.
If you’re worried
It’s OK, I’ve been worried too
Now I ask you:
If love’s bigger, what’s it matter what’s after?
And I know that.
You gotta put a little skin in to get a little skin back
Red-tail hawk told me well, with the black sun going down,
“Signs and wonders—hear me now—for those who stop to understand them.”
Hang on a passing cloud.
IT’S MORNING, I’M ALIVE NOW.
Signs and wonders—hear me now—for those who stop to understand them.
Now you know me.
I love you and I’m faithful.
I’m a river.
And I bend like a rainbow.
Signs and wonders. Just a little bit of thunder now.
Feel all the colors.
Love’s bigger than what’s under.
I believe gun laws need to change. So I am now committed to performing whatever actions are within my power push that stone forward. We’ve been told for so long that a change in gun laws is next to impossible. It is not. We’ve been told that the NRA, and the politicians whom they buy, are too powerful. They are not. The young people in Parkland, Florida, have proven that. I am on their side. I am on the side of peace, hope and love, on the side of grieving parents and spouses and co-workers in Parkland and Newtown, in Aurora and Las Vegas. As Sly Stone says, “My only weapon is my pen.” But it’s a mighty weapon indeed that works to bring light to dark places. Signs and wonders. Just a little bit of thunder now.
This song was recorded with the Spacebomb family—a collection of musicians with deep kinship and connection to Hiss Golden Messenger—in Richmond, Virginia, on February 7th, 2018. They love their families and friends in the same ways that I do mine. I was proud and honored to work with them on this song.
All proceeds from “Passing Clouds” and “Passing Clouds Dub” will benefit Everytown, a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. I urge you to perform your own small actions of peace whenever and wherever you can. We can make the world we want to live in.
No spiritual surrender.
—M.C. Taylor, Durham, NC
Ben Baldwin, CEO of Spacebomb Records & Group:
At Spacebomb, we believe our children should be able to learn in safety. Our loved ones should be able to go to work and teach in safety. No one should have to face or fear gun violence.
We are lucky enough to have worked in, spent time in, and lived in countries where less guns, not more guns, has been the answer. With sensible gun laws, that is possible in the US too.
In the week leading up to the March For Our Lives, we are proud to be announcing a musical partnership with Hiss Golden Messenger to raise money for the organization Everytown for Gun Safety. Spacebomb strongly supports Everytown’s rational, evidence-based and active approach to making real change to gun policy.
Cameron Ralston, track producer & bass player at Spacebomb:
“Music is the healing force of the universe” – Albert Ayler
I had been wanting to musically reconnect with Mike Taylor ever since coming off of a memorable one-off tour, zigzagging around Europe and playing bass with Hiss Golden Messenger in December of 2014. It took a little over 3 years, but we made it happen! I immediately felt an indelible kinship with Mike, even though I had only met him a few days before leaving for Europe. I’m proud yet deeply humbled that he jumped at the opportunity to drive three hours up the road to Richmond, VA, to hang with my Spacebomb family and I in the studio for a day. We didn’t exactly know what we would come up with at the time nor did we even have any agenda besides the old adage of making “art for art’s sake.” I simply felt it in my bones that Spacebomb and Hiss Golden Messenger would be a heavenly match. “Passing Clouds” (and “Passing Clouds Dub”) is the result of this pure-hearted collaboration. I love how it turned out, but more importantly, I love the purpose it has naturally assumed and what it has come to mean for Mike and I.
Not long after we had recorded “Passing Clouds,” news spread of the tragic events at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Mike immediately reached out to me and said we should put this song out to raise money as charity for Everytown For Gun Safety. I’m not sure there was even a decision to be made on my end. Absolutely, YES. The harsh reality that an event like the Stoneman Douglas shooting presents to us as humans is a reality I am just not willing to accept. The threat of a mass shooting at a school is not something we can tolerate as “part of our lives now.” What object holds more value than the gift of life? There are certain dangers and darknesses that at a certain point, I, as a father, cannot prevent my own children from seeing, experiencing or even seeking, but the horrific threat of a mass shooting in a public place ought not even be on the radar. A privilege of owning and brandishing an assault rifle cannot possibly be more important than our collective commitment to protecting our most valuable treasures: our children….or a promise to securing our most sacred spaces: our schools. Let’s pose the question this way: In a free and open society, is the right to possess a deadly weapon more inalienable than the right to feel at peace in our schools, churches, parks, nightclubs, movie theaters, restaurants, shopping malls, stadiums, on our streets? I say no way.
Mike Taylor, myself, and Spacebomb are honored to present “Passing Clouds” as a humble token of support to Everytown for Gun Safety and to all of the families and victims affected by the Stoneman Douglas shooting, the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the Charleston church shooting, the Sutherland Springs church shooting, the Las Vegas shooting, the Orlando nightclub shooting, the San Bernardino shooting, the Virginia Tech shooting, the Aurora shooting, the Binghamton shooting, the Fort Hood shooting, the Washington Navy Yard shooting, the Geneva County shooting, the Columbine High School shooting and every other tragedy in recent times perpetuated by needless gun violence. We want this world to be more beautiful, more peaceful, more hopeful for our children when the time comes for us to leave it. We want to be lights ripping through this darkness. Won’t you join us?
Songwriter: M.C. Taylor / Prophecy Connection, BMI M.C. Taylor: lead vocals, background vocals Alan Parker: guitar Matthew E. White: guitar Devonne Harris: keyboards, hammond B3 organ Cameron Ralston: bass guitar Pinson Chanselle: drums & percussion Jessica Fox: background Vocals Produced by Cameron Ralston Recorded by Adrian Olsen at Montrose Recording, Richmond, VA Mixed by Adrian Olsen Mastered by Chris Boerner "Passing Clouds Dub" Produced by Cameron Ralston and Matthew E. White Mixed by Cameron Ralston and Matthew E. White Mastered by Chris Boerner Art Direction and Design by Travis Robertson © 2018 Spacebomb Records. All Rights Reserved.