Required Listening: New Tallest Man on Earth Track

13423995_1013036708744582_3711737306648003127_nAnytime Kristian Matsson shares a new song under his moniker of The Tallest Man on Earth, you can bet I’m going to share it with you. This new song, “Rivers,” is an interesting addition to the song bank that this gentleman is accruing in that it’s a very refined and subtle– the vocals are angelic and delicate. Like all Tallest Man on Earth tracks, you get a perfect example of folk magic with this song. I don’t have much to say about this song, other than you should probably just press play below and let yourself be taken away by the graceful track.

 

Trevor Sensor Signs To Jagjaguwar!

unnamed-26It’s really a pleasant surprise when an artist you discover in the trenches of the internet manages to hit it big… I mean, I posted about Trevor Sensor last June,trying to share with you all the Tallest Man on Earth-esque vibes of this youngster and now he’s on the incredible Jagjaguwar lineup. With this news, he’s shared the video below for “Texas Girls and Jesus Christ,” which is a song off of his upcoming debut EP by that same name. It’s a little bluesier than The Tallest Man, and the full band sound that joins him at the end makes for a bar-stomping good time. Take a listen.

Show Review: The Tallest Man On Earth @ The Moody Theater (9/13)

I had very high hopes going into The Moody Theater on Sunday evening. The bill was stacked; two artists who take the delicate process of songwriting and make it seem effortless through the tracks that they craft that stun us, two artists riding high off the release of statement albums in the progress of their career, two artists who embody just that word, affecting emotion and spirit with their voices and instruments. Lady Lamb opened the evening up and The Tallest Man On Earth brought it all together, both oozing soul from the stage.

Read on for my recount of how the magical evening unfolded.

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Show Preview: Tallest Man On Earth/ Lady Lamb @ The Moody (9.13)

11696537_10153041354817916_8928562787495893481_oSo I know you’ll be tired on Sunday from staying out late at our very own Popfest, but that’s really no excuse to miss out on a great show the following evening at the Moody Theater. This Sunday, Sweden’s The Tallest Man On Earth and company will be gracing the stage to delight all with new and old folk inspired tracks that will surely melt your heart. Word on the street is that he’s bringing along a full band to flesh out these new tracks, but we’ll still be given the special chance to spend some time alone with this man and his brilliant songwriting. If you weren’t already convinced about going, (which you can do, as tickets are still available here) be swayed by the fact that another vocal powerhouse, Lady Lamb, will be opening. You can get excited for the show with these two tracks below, and just know that you’ll be forever regretful if you miss this night of pop and folk music centered around passionate songwriting. No pressure.

 

Festival Recap: Eaux Claires

oh clair bannerEau Claire, Wisconsin is a long ways a way from Austin, but not too far away in terms of mindset: here, we call our city the Live Music Capital of the world, and in the Eau Claire is the Music Capital of the North. Nestled in the Chippewa Valley and overlooking the the river, we were treated to three days in the woods with 22,000 of our newly formed friends celebrating music, arts, and the spirit of the river valley. At the center of it all was the man who dreamed up such a festival: Justin Vernon, who, alongside Aaron Dessner, brought all of us together in essentially his backyard to experience something greater.

Read on for our recap of the inaugural Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival and see some pictures from the fest.

**Feature Photo Courtesy of Graham Tolbert

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Festival Preview: Eaux Claires

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.00.28 PMSometimes the ATH crew ventures beyond the Live Music Capital and gets to experience rad festivals. Last summer, I had the pleasure of traveling to Barcelona for Primavera Sound, and while Spain may not be on the horizon for me this summer, Wisconsin is. In a few short weeks, we’ll be hitting the grounds of the first ever Eaux Claires festival, the love child project of Justin Vernon (Bon Iver/Volcano Choir) and Aaron Dessner (The National). While we’ll give you updates live from the festival so you can live vicariously through us and figure out which acts you need to see when they make their way through our neck of the woods, you can read on for the top five things we’re looking forward to about the inaugural festival.

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The Tallest Man On Earth Is Back!

378704_10150350458497916_331073417_nSo a little bit ago, Kristian Mattson teased us with an album trailer announcing Dark Bird is Home, but today, we’ve got a jam to taste from that May 12th release. “Sagres” is more refined than anything we’ve experienced from The Tallest Man On Earth so far. There’s a lot more going on now than just a man and his guitar. While this thought may sound scary at first, as that stripped sound is what makes TMOE so delightful, I feel like this song is a natural progression for Mattson; the other instruments are subtle additions, not meant to overpower the soulful vocals uttering a wistful story of nostalgia. You still get the honesty artistry at the core of this man’s music, and now you get it fleshed out with a whole band sound behind it. Preorder the record now via Dead Oceans. So good.

The Tallest Man on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

Rating: ★★★★ ·

It seems like Kristian Mattson is on a roll, musically speaking.  His music has progressed through his first two albums, and he continues his own tradition with his latest release as The Tallest Man on Earth, There’s No Leaving Now.  At this point in his career, his voice and musical stylings have become familiar, making the work on this album more personal.

Upon listening to the first track, “To Just Grow Away,” I noticed that his guitar playing has changed a little bit; there’s an intricacy to the picking of the strings, rather than the heavier handed strumming of earlier efforts. Surprisingly, there’s also a softness to his distinctive Dylan-esque drawl…it all points to bright things on There’s No Leaving Now. You’ll find more changes as you move into “Revelation Blues,” though I’ll admit they’re a bit more subtle.  The musical accompaniment, which has always remained sparse, if even present, is much more noticeable this go round, such as the rolling drum in the background on this track.  Personally, I think it helps fight off naysayers who would say he’s not really progressing; clearly, he’s adding slight touches to change his game.

I think that The Tallest Man on Earth definitely has softened a bit.  Kristian always had just a hint of that off-pitch delivery, but he’s warmed the edges of his vocal instrument on this effort.  “1904,” one of the standout tracks, features a chorus where he goes after higher notes than I’ve seen him go after before–and he succeeds in that for the most part.  In doing so, he crafts one of the more emotional moments on the record, and you’ll keep coming back to the track due to his efforts. Later on in There’s No Leaving Now he warms you again with “Little Brother;” it’s just his vocals and guitar for the most part.  But, aside from a polish to the voice, you begin to notice that Mattson’s grown as a lyricist to boot.

Despite the fact that Kristian’s denied sharing any allegiance to the folk tradition, he definitely has begun to take on a more emotional everyman approach with his lyrics. His stories seem rooted in personal experience, like on “There’s No Leaving Now,” but you can also see that such songs could be applied to your own life by stepping into Mattson’s shoes.  They’re songs about love, about the trials and tribulations of life, but his usage of “you” often makes you wonder if he’s talking directly to you–this is perhaps what’s made Mattson so endearing.

I think the best thing that stands out on There’s No Leaving Now is that there’s a lot of variance in the songwriting this go round.  Sure, there’s your traditional guitar and voice, but there’s also songs featuring some nice backing arrangements and even piano bits.  It’s definitely still The Tallest Man on Earth, but it shows that Mattson’s willing to try new territory, or new twists; this is the sort of thing that makes us appreciate his work, not to mention the fact that it keeps us coming back again and again.  As long as Kristian writes music this good, we’ll all be here for a long time, adoring everything he puts out.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/The_Tallest_Man_on_Earth_-_1904.mp3]

Download: The Tallest Man on Earth – 1904 [MP3]

New Track from Tallest Man on Earth

It’s good to have Tallest Man on Earth back again, not that he’s really been gone, but you know what I mean.  Rolling Stone posted this great new track, “1904” from the songwriter today, and it’s exactly what you want from the man we fondly refer to as the Swedish Bob Dylan There’s No Leaving Now is the title of the new record, set for release on June 12th on Dead Oceans.  There’s a little bit of a change to Kristian’s vocals in the second half of the song, which hopefully shows that he’s looking to add something to his sound.  In the end it’s not really going to matter much because he’s got this quality that makes everything he writes emotionally touching.  He better be ready for more praise!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/The_Tallest_Man_on_Earth_-_1904.mp3]

Download: The Tallest Man on Earth – 1904 [MP3]

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