10 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For Kristian Matsson, a.k.a. The Tallest Man on Earth, There's No Leaving Now is a radical departure from his previous output, though there have been hints along the way. The music here isn't radical—but for a man who's released a number of sparse, acoustic guitar and banjo albums that were compared to early Bob Dylan, the sound is fuller, with additional instrumentation making the case for his continued development. There's nothing glossy about the results. The core of the music is still Matsson's earnest voice and his unerring sense of melody. "To Just Grow Away" is an immediate charmer, with a jaunty groove that caresses his cavalier phrasing, where words disappear into the wonder of it all. His fingerwork on the album's two stripped-down tunes, "Leading Me Now" and "On Every Page", illuminate how the simplest touches change the outcome. "Bright Lanterns" adds a luminous lap steel guitar. "There's No Leaving Now" shifts to the piano for its high lonesome feel. It's an alluring mix of simplicity and smart musical touches.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For Kristian Matsson, a.k.a. The Tallest Man on Earth, There's No Leaving Now is a radical departure from his previous output, though there have been hints along the way. The music here isn't radical—but for a man who's released a number of sparse, acoustic guitar and banjo albums that were compared to early Bob Dylan, the sound is fuller, with additional instrumentation making the case for his continued development. There's nothing glossy about the results. The core of the music is still Matsson's earnest voice and his unerring sense of melody. "To Just Grow Away" is an immediate charmer, with a jaunty groove that caresses his cavalier phrasing, where words disappear into the wonder of it all. His fingerwork on the album's two stripped-down tunes, "Leading Me Now" and "On Every Page", illuminate how the simplest touches change the outcome. "Bright Lanterns" adds a luminous lap steel guitar. "There's No Leaving Now" shifts to the piano for its high lonesome feel. It's an alluring mix of simplicity and smart musical touches.

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3:56
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4:50

About The Tallest Man On Earth

Playing spare but tuneful indie folk enlivened by his sometimes craggy, always passionate vocals and poetic lyrics, the Tallest Man on Earth is the stage name of Swedish singer and songwriter Kristian Matsson. Born in Dalarna, Sweden in 1983, Matsson first broke into music as a member of the group Montezumas, but in 2006, influenced by rootsy Swedish artists such as Thomas Denver Jonsson and Homesick Hank, he struck out on his own as the Tallest Man on Earth, releasing a self-titled five-song EP of elemental acoustic songs with just his guitar for accompaniment on the Swedish label Gravitation. The EP and the follow-up single, "Pistol Dreams," received positive reviews, and in 2008, Matsson released his first album as the Tallest Man on Earth, Shallow Grave, which was released in the United States by the boutique indie label Mexican Summer. Matsson toured extensively in support of Shallow Grave, including several dates opening for Bon Iver and John Vanderslice, and in 2010 he released his second album, The Wild Hunt, which was his first project for Dead Oceans Records. Before the year was out, a five-song TMOE EP appeared, Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird, which marked Matsson's first recordings with an electric guitar. In 2012, he released There's No Leaving Now, which found him adding a few more layers to the album's production, and 2015's Dark Bird Is Home proved to be his most ambitious project to date, incorporating a full band on several cuts as well as electronic loops, horns, backing vocalists, and a spacious, atmospheric studio sound. ~ Mark Deming

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