Albums Of 2012. 6// The Tallest Man On Earth

There’s No Leaving Now [Released by Dead Oceans]

In a rushed attempt to round off my album reviews for 2012 I’m going to make these a touch briefer than previous installments, as tomorrow I head back to uni, and the real posts should start filling the blog’s feed again. But without further ado, here’s number 6.

It’s hard to be an acoustic act nowadays. Or to even play acoustic guitar in the mainstream. Sweden’s Kristian Matsson, AKA The Tallest Man On Earth knows this all too well, buried under his countless comparisons to Dylan. Other acts have boldly tried to stretch acoustic and folk music in general to its limits in attempts to avoid being cast under one of the greatest shadows in music, but Matsson takes an altogether more bold approach to the matter. This, his third album, is self-produced, meaning he got exactly the sound he wanted out of it. And what was that sound? Of him and his guitar.

It’d seem to outsiders he’s making no effort to break away from Dylan at all, which is suprising considering his husky growl he uses to croon all of his romantic lyrics gains him only more comparison to Dylan. However this album exudes a songwriting confidence rare in this line of music. Most folk musicians are now assumed to be quiet and thoughtful introverts. There’s No Leaving Now embodies a brash attitude towards acoustic music and how to treat it, a brutally open and cathartic release telling of heartbreak in a way all too different from the currently popular fashion made famous by Justin Vernon.

Standout tracks include Wind And Walls and the title track itself, showcasing a masterful grasp of melody and hook to produce something beautifully captivating, when married with Matsson’s distinctive guitar playing style, rinsed in open chords and tunings. Whilst There’s No Leaving Now may not be intended to be an uplifting album in any way it most certainly feels invigorating.

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