Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Grave
Magnolia Record Club

Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Grave

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"Tallest Man on Earth (also known as Kristian Matsson) without mentioning Bob Dylan's early years, mostly because Matsson manages to embody Dylan's effortlessness so well (Dylan was trying really, really hard, sure-- but he sang like he didn't give a shit), infusing his songs with a detachment that, miraculously, is neither cold nor alienating. Like Dylan, Matsson is so natural a songwriter that these tracks feel predetermined, tumbling out of his mouth with an ease and grace that's increasingly uncommon.

Matsson released a self-titled five-song EP in 2007; Shallow Graveis his full-length debut. The production is appropriately scrappy, and it seems relatively safe to assume that the album was recorded live with one microphone-- accordingly, we hear the scratch of fingernails on string (and, on occasion, the chirping of birds in the background), made privy to each tiny exhalation and sigh. Matsson is an adept fingerpicker, and his guitar is easily as central as his voice, which is high, crackling, and rich. Much like Dylan himself, Matsson has mined the American south for inspiration, and his frantic strumming and front-porch poetry recall everyone from the Carter Family to Lead Belly to, most noticeably, country bluesman Mississippi John Hurt." - Pitchfork


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