Today, DJ Colonial Donut has whipped up a fresh review of The Tallest Man On Earth‘s latest album, The Dark Bird is Home. While this isn’t the lo-fi goodness you may be familiar with, it may turn out to be something you like even better. Scroll on to find out why.
The Tallest Man On Earth
The Dark Bird Is Home
Modern Folk Hero Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man On Earth (ironically 5’7”) delivers a familiar sound with his fourth studio album, The Dark Bird Is Home. His melancholy lyricism accompanied by simple saccharin acoustic guitar is reminiscent of older folk stars such as Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens. But where Bob Dylan’s departure from fully acoustic music was abrupt and ground breaking, Matsson’s is much more subtle.
I should note that this is not the same Lo-fi folk that listeners of The Tallest Man On Earth fell in love with. Indeed this is a high production value, at times poppy sounding album with overdubbing and multiple instruments. What remains from previous releases is the unique vocals, which to me makes this album absolutely worth a listen.
The Dark Bird Is Home begins with soft, sad melodies, such as on “Fields of Our Home” in which he croons about a distant love. There are hints of accordion chords, possibly organ, just beneath the surface, and even some electro synth accompaniment if you listen close enough. It is a precursor to the complexity of lyric and composition paired perfectly to create the simple, minimalistic sounds which define this album.
As it progresses, the mood picks up, and the energy behind the instrumentation ebbs and flows. “Slow Dance” has a certain swing to it that encourages at least the tapping of fingers on a steering wheel. Although he hails from Sweden, Matsson has created the ideal Americana road trip soundtrack.
For me the peak of the album is the song “Timothy” which is a complete 180 from his previous albums. It’s a new alternative sound that I wouldn’t have expected coming from The Tallest Man On Earth, but it still has the same impact as any other song on the album. The unique accompaniment of oboe and percussion creates an almost modern pop feeling. It certainly exhibits the wide range in compositional talent that Matsson possesses, and in that sense this album stands alone as a culmination of his musical career.
DJ Colonial Donuts of Baker’s Dozens