With the debut recorded in various living rooms, making a minimalist music with roots in an ancient tradition by the name The Tallest Man On Earth, Kristian Matsson, the young Swedish songwriter, hidden behind his sorcery spirits, puts his guitar on and gets off the magneto. Once asked why he chose such a big name, he said, “It’s great to have a huge name for one of these “small” music.” Well, I tell you, you won’t win listening his “small” music, but will remain a little double-locked in his log cabin.
He has a very uncanny voice, as if his throat is curled a bit at the end, and when you hear it for the first time you will probably not like it (I know I didn’t) but take my word for it and let the music grow on you for a day or two. Once that happens, the same songs will sound like the best you have ever heard, makes you shudder at the thought of impatience to hear the album in its entirety. Because sometimes when you listen to some good music, you don’t really care what’s going around.
Three albums in the space of six years is a brisk pace for an artist. However, what separates the grain wheat of Kristian Matsson from the rest of the melodic chaff is his consistently high quality of all the guitar pluckings and his sandpaper voice, in a direct line from folk virtuoso, Dylan, sounds more polished than ever.
His third album, There’s No Leaving Now, is mostly recorded at home over a stint of 5 months. There are some small refinements in this new album. With the addition of woodwinds, drums, and additional fingerpicked guitars to the mix, giving his songs a fuller sound, making it even more difficult for the listener to defend himself. There’s No Leaving Now is an adventure close to home, the sound of someone exploring a nature trail in his own backyard. Every song has a different gait, still picturesque. Lyrically, the album is a chef-d’oeuvre. To cherry-pick 3-4 songs is the hardest part. Still, my personal favorites are: “To Just Grow Away”, “Revelation Blues”, “1904”, “Bright Lanterns”, “There’s No Leaving Now” and “Little Brother”[6 out of 10. Almost the entirety :P. In this album, every track is a gem]. “Little Brother” was the first song I heard. “Why are you drinking again little brother. When your ramblings the hard part of loving you. You say the creek and the fogs wanna drown you. But there are deeper wells where we’re going to”, was enough for me to fall in love with this tallest man :P.
Excerpt from the cosmos of Matsson, There’s No Leaving Now is a beautiful gift to us, proves that his songwriting has not aged a bit and is still as gently touching.