The fourth album by The Tallest Man on Earth, aka Swedish songwriter Kristian Matsson, is the first to feature a full band on nearly every track. The extra players elevate Matsson’s sparkly folk to shimmering levels, while the subtle arrangements keep it grounded and organic. Dark Bird Is Home sounds carefully constructed, and Matsson keeps things simple rather than making easy moves toward a grandeur that could bury his songcraft.
That the songs feel so down-to-earth might be because they were recorded in “various countries, studios and barns,” as the bio states. Fields Of Our Home begins soft and sweet with Matsson’s distinctive voice, then blossoms during its last minute. Little Nowhere Towns’ lively piano pop carries an effortless melody that recalls Bob Dylan’s Sign On The Window. Some songs are overly twee, like Beginners, with its goofy ornamental flourishes. But they’re forgotten once the heavy power of the title track and the driving standout Seventeen kick in.
Top track: Seventeen
The Tallest Man on Earth plays Massey Hall September 4. Click here to win tickets!