Tallest Man on Earth – Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird

written by: November 9, 2010
Release Date: November 9, 2010


Song and dance man Kristian Matsson returns a mere five months after the release of The Wild Hunt with an EP’s worth of tracks recorded on tour. The 27-year-old Swede’s meteoric rise is remarkable considering the relative obscurity he’s managed to maintain. By now, he’s fully come into his own—any fan will immediately recognize the sepia-toned images, the vast landscapes, the ambient birdsong, even the typeface that adorns his albums.

If The Wild Hunt was Matsson’s public face, Sometimes the Blues Is Just A Passing Bird delves into the world of the self. Each of the songs plays as a standalone, pastoral vignette, a little conversation or a hastily scribbled note to a friend. There are the recurring characters—the sparrow, the wheel, clouds. It’s music for a Sunday afternoon; languid and longingly melancholy. The unassuming simplicity breeds mystery.

Even with his guard down, The Tallest Man on Earth doesn’t claim to be anything other than what he is.

It’s folk music in its most canonical sense, music of the people; easy on the ears and at its most intrinsic level just a man and a guitar. That’s not to say there aren’t the familiar elements of his style. Expect the crystalline fingerstyle, the heartwrenching howl, the living room intimacy and, for the first time, an electric guitar.

“Please let the kindness of forgettin’ set me free,” he croons on the single, “Like the Wheel.” Listen closely and you hear the barking of a dog, the soft playing of a piano, the creaking of wood. With no element in the foreground, you can almost hear the space and feel the breeze blowing through the open window.

Inevitably parallels continue to be drawn to Bob Dylan. Even though Matsson neither resembles the bard in art, nor pretends to be him (he does make homage to ‘boots of Spanish leather’), critics will scream themselves silly with comparisons. If it wasn’t clear by The Wild Hunt, the young artist is on a path all of his own. Sometimes the Blues puts it beyond debate—here is the Tallest Man on Earth doing the Tallest Man on Earth.

The tone of the stories is neither sentimental nor nihilistic. He presents a harrowing emotion and just as one relishes in it, it flies away.

Matsson is unafraid to explore human hurt–he knows he’ll lead you out safely. The EP is self-evidence that, as he says, “There is always someone out there who will listen.” It reads like an admission of his own lack of answers, or strength.  And though “sometimes the blues is just a passing bird” The Tallest Man on Earth wants to know, “why can’t that always be?”

Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird Tracklisting:

  1. Little River
  2. The Dreamer
  3. Like The Wheel
  4. Tangle In This Trampled Wheat
  5. Thrown Right At Me