Kristian Mattson is The Tallest Man On Earth, a Swedish singer/songwriter crafting music that is achingly pure in both creation and execution. Anyone who might doubt the intense immediacy that one man and a guitar can command, alone and unencumbered, may want to explore TTMOE's new EP Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird (November 9, Dead Oceans) for a potent reminder. A brief follow up to his sophomore album Wild Hunt, out just this past April, Passing offers up the recent concert favorite "Like the Wheel" and four other tracks recorded this past summer during a tour break.
With supple finger-picked guitar runs and a rough-hewn voice honed with a serrated edge, Mattson brings a folk-era Dylan-esque edge to his songs. Despite the simple production and often lighthearted air, Mattson brings an unforced urgency to deceptively simple-sounding songs like "Little River", drawing the listener in to lyrics that seem to tumble directly from his heart. Earnest and impassioned but without a hint of awkward pretense, "Like the Wheel" is a lithe stunner of songwriting perfection, a graceful melody wrapped loosely around Mattson's battered, pleading vocal.
The Tallest Man on Earth -"Little River" (from the EP Sometimes the Blues Is Just A Passing Bird)
The Tallest Man on Earth -"Like the Wheel" (from the EP Sometimes the Blues Is Just A Passing Bird)