People Get Ready – People Get Ready
Combining the experimental pop of Dirty Projectors with a slight lean toward Yeasayer‘s psych rock, People Get Ready’s debut album has everything I didn’t find on those two artists’ new releases (Yeasayer’s Fragrant World was a pleasant surprise, though). Steven Reker, once a guitarist/dancer for David Byrne, might have picked up a few things from the former Talking Heads frontman, but he takes it in a wonderfully unique direction.
Grizzly Bear – Shields
Grizzly Bear‘s latest album was a slow-burning beauty. While not as immediate as 2009’s “Two Weeks,” songs like “Yet Again” slowly creep into your subconscious (and subsequently into your best-of list). From singles like “Sleeping Ute” to the swirling “Speak in Rounds,” the band perfected their dark atmospheres on Shields.
Lucero – Women & Work
Lucero is no longer the country-punk band from a decade ago. 2009’s 1372 Overton Park saw some hints at horn-centered soul, a change completely cemented by Women & Work. Though the band has changed considerably, it’s hard to miss it much when they’re rocking through the album’s title track or the Van Morrison-styled “Like Lightning.”
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Cobra Juicy
Despite the bizarre lyrics and thick blanket of effects, Black Moth Super Rainbow‘s fifth album sounds deeply rooted in classic rock. Everything from the big riffs of “Windshield Smasher” and “Hairspray Heart” to the pedal steel of “Psychic Love Damage” recall ’70s rock, but it’s still plenty weird. “Dreamsicle Bomb” is a synth explosion, “Gangs in the Garden” is a strange dance party that only Black Moth Super Rainbow could create.
The Tallest Man on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
Kristian Matsson first caught our attention with 2010’s The Wild Hunt. While it might not top his sophomore album, There’s No Leaving Now — his third record as the Tallest Man on Earth — completely recaptures our attention and imagination. Matsson’s stark acoustic songs are as beautiful as ever.
Posted in Album Reviews, Music Reviews
Tagged Black Moth Super Rainbow, Cobra Juicy, Grizzly Bear, Lucero, People Get Ready, Shields, SoundCloud, The Tallest Man on Earth, There's No Leaving Now, Top 20 of 2012, Women & Work
Rolling Stone premiered the first single from the Tallest Man on Earth‘s upcoming record, There’s No Leaving Now. “1904” is the first single from the follow up to 2010’s incredible The Wild Hunt.
It sounds fuller than the stark recordings of The Wild Hunt, but every bit as beautiful. Kristian Matsson, aka the Tallest Man on Earth, gently plucks the mandolin over the rich acoustic strums.
“1904” will leave you wanting more. So until There’s No Leaving Now comes out on June 12, I’ll be spinning The Wild Hunt a ton.
9. Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
The Tallest Man on Earth is really nothing new. Swedish musician Kristian Matsson sings while he picks the banjo and acoustic guitar, just like people have been doing for years.
But there’s something different about The Wild Hunt. Matsson’s stark folk music has such feeling in its echoing words and strums. Songs like “King of Spain” and “The Wild Hunt” are astonishing and irresistible no matter what mood you’re in.
Sure, folk has been done a lot, but Matsson makes it feel brand new. The Wild Hunt is like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
A lot of artists pay homage to Paul Simon. Some mimic, like Vampire Weekend, and others cover his songs. From his folk days, both with Art Garfunkel and during his early solo career, to his world-inspired classics like Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints, Simon has a lot of great work.
There have been some good covers, like Ray Charles’ version of “Still Crazy After All These Years,” but perhaps the best comes from Swedish troubadour Kristian Matsson, who performs as The Tallest Man on Earth. Matsson’s stripped-down folk take on “Graceland” rivals the original. His vocals float over a picked banjo with a stark beauty. It’s an incredible take on one of Simon’s best works.
Take a listen for yourself: