Sweden’s Kristian Matsson (more popularly known as the Tallest Man On Earth) first found himself atop a mountain of praise in 2010 following the release of The Wild Hunt, wheedling his way into the hearts of many with soothing melodies and uplifting energy. Relying almost entirely on just his guitar and commanding voice, Matsson’s brand of folk garnered more than a few comparisons to Bob Dylan, but at the end of the day was a niche he fit into seamlessly. It would be 2 years, padded by the Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird EP and lengthy international touring, before he would follow up with There’s No Leaving Now, his third full-length and first since gaining drastically in popularity.
There’s No Leaving Now begins warmly, ringing like a summer day with bright tones over slow, repetitive percussion. The production that gives the entire album its aged and delicate feel is immediate in “To Just Grow Away,” which tumbles along at a brisk pace behind Matsson’s high croon. The first half of the record is much of the same easygoing folk established over his previous releases, layering intricate guitars with descriptive lyrics to produce endearing imagery and effective atmosphere. “Bright Lanterns,” a slight shift from the usual, is enveloped with a sorrowful, country-western tinge, which drags along in a haze of drawn out notes and differing perspectives.
The title track acts as a solemn centerpiece with Matsson’s expressive voice accompanied only by soft piano notes, outlining the intricacies of a life worth living and standing on the lingering lines, “still you’re trying but there’s no leaving now.” From there things continue as before, tying beautiful melodies with tested precision and a lasting catchiness. “Little Brother,” another return to dampened spirits and uneasy thoughts is one of the better songs on the album, seeing a resurgence of the minimalist feel throughout The Wild Hunt. Things wrap up with “On Every Page,” a fragile drawl that builds and falls over itself, rounding out on a quiet note.
Over the course of There’s No Leaving Now’s 10 tracks, there’s an everlasting feeling of comfort and familiarity. It tempts thoughts of paths once taken, songs long sung, and nights already spent, but not without the belief in bright horizons. Engrained in the words and chords of the Tallest Man On Earth is an intrinsic charm that permeates every song and sets him apart from the rest.
8.0 / 10
Posted Feb. 10, 2015, 9:28 a.m.
The Tallest Man on Earth will return with a new album on M1y 12, titled Dark Bird Is Home and released on Dead Oceans. The record is said to be ...
Posted Jan. 18, 2005, 8:44 p.m.
Sinking Ships is signed to the up and coming
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