Hiss Golden Messenger — the eclectic Durham, North Carolina, Americana outfit — have released the new song “Happy Birthday, Baby” a month before the release of their seventh studio album, Terms of Surrender.
The group’s leader and creative mastermind M.C. Taylor wrote the track, which features a nursery rhyme-like counting chorus, for his daughter’s fifth birthday.
“It’s mostly a love letter to her, part apology, part plea for forgiveness, and part recounting of the day she was born, when all the roads boiled over with rainwater and thunder and lightning filled the air,” the singer-songwriter says of the lyrics. “There are also many secret things in this song that only my family knows about.”
“Happy Birthday, Baby” also serves as a confessional, with Taylor transforming the sweet song for his daughter into a somber occasion to reflect on his own feelings of guilt and regret. “When you think of me,” he sings to his child, “think of me better than I think of myself.”
Terms of Surrender is out September 20th. In June, Hiss Golden Messenger released the LP’s lead single “I Need a Teacher,” followed by “Cat’s Eye Blue” last month. The band will launch an extensive fall tour on September 24th in Greenville, South Carolina.