Hiss Golden Messenger and indie label Spacebomb Records have teamed up for the new track “Passing Clouds,” with all proceeds going to to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization working to end gun violence.
The loping, dreamy track, paired with a dub remix from HGM’s M.C. Taylor, will be available at midnight tonight through all download and streaming services, as well as Bandcamp, with a pay-what-you-want-option for those wishing to donate more. The soulful tune, which Billboard premieres below, is timed to the March for Our Lives gun control march that will take place in Washington, D.C., and around the country on Saturday. The two-track single will also be available on 7-inch vinyl here.
Taylor recorded the song in Richmond, Virginia, on Feb. 7, a week before the shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead. As Taylor contemplated what to do with the track following the massacre, he decided to tie it in with the charity.
“I believe gun laws need to change. So I am now committed to performing whatever actions are within my power to push that stone forward,” Taylor said in a press release. “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.”
The track reunited Taylor with bass player Cameron Ralston, who produced “Passing Clouds” as well as the dub remix (along with Matthew E. White); Ralston played bass with HGM on tour in December 2014. “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,” said Ralston. “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?”
Spacebomb Records & Group CEO Ben Baldwin added, “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 access to guns, not more guns, has been the answer. With sensible gun laws, that is possible in the U.S. too.”
Spacebomb is distributed through Resolved Records, a division of Glassnote Entertainment Group.
“Passing Clouds” and “Passing Clouds Dub” are a one-off project with Spacebomb. HGM remains signed to Merge Records, which released its most recent album, Hallelujah Anyhow, in September.