Occasionally you find an artist who just turns heads. In this case, it is not because of physical height, but instead an immense presence that is evoked in a brand of folk music that is eerily similar and stupendously different. The Tallest Man on Earth, the moniker of Swedish folk musician Kristian Matsson, plays music that is effortlessly perfect. Rarely do I drag an entire album into my exclusive Favorites playlist on my iPod. But, Matsson’s music is the pinnacle of folk perfection. It calls back to better days. And, his voice…wow…is that Bob Dylan?
That is perhaps my favorite song from Mattson. It appears on his first LP, Shallow Grave, which was released in 2008. Since then, he has put out another LP (The Wild Hunt) and EP (Sometimes The Blues is Just a Passing Bird), while releasing his first single “King of Spain,” which I will include below. The music is immaculate. It is, like I said above, pure folk perfection; everything from the guitar riff to his eccentric and eclectic voice. Is the voice for everyone? No. But, if you are a fan of Bob Dylan’s classic folk music, you will love this.
But, as much as the music may sound similar to Dylan, it maintains some strong differences. The music plays around with more modern musical ideas. It moves away from basic chords and experiments with different techniques. It also implements some strumming original to Mattson.
The voice does sound like Dylan, but, Mattson’s voice is deeper and more guttural. It even sounds more natural on first listen.
The 27-year-old Mattson also plays piano and banjo. This is a talented up and riser and he most certainly deserves some Music Court attention. Enjoy “King of Spain” off his new album.
By the way. “Boots of Spanish Leather.” I see what you did there with that lyric Mr. Mattson.