Tag Archives: The Tallest Man on Earth

Top 20 of 2012

Punch Brothers - Who's Feeling Young Now?

1. Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now?
2. Japandroids – Celebration Rock 
3. Tropical Punk – Ends of the World 
4. John K. Samson – Provincial 
5. Flume – Flume
6. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE 
7. Tame Impala – Lonerism 
8. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…
9. Balmorhea – Stranger
10. The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
11. Titus Andronicus – Local Business
12. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
13. The Men – Open Your Heart
14. The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
15. Bob Dylan – Tempest
16. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
17. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
18. Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes
19. St. Lucia – St. Lucia EP
20. Yeasayer – Fragrant World

Honorable Mentions: People Get Ready, Grizzly Bear, Lucero, Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Tallest Man on Earth

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Top 20 of 2012: Honorable Mentions

People Get Ready - People Get Ready LPPeople 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 - ShieldsGrizzly 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 & WorkLucero – 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 JuicyBlack 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 NowThe Tallest Man on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
Kristian Matsson first caught our attention with 2010’s The Wild HuntWhile 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.

The Tallest Man on Earth – “1904”

The Tallest Man on Earth - There's No Leaving NowRolling 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.

Top 20 of 2010: 9. Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt

9. Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt

The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild HuntThe 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.

The Tallest Man on Earth – “Graceland”

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: