The Tallest Man on Earth
The Wild Hunt (Dead Oceans)
As on 2008’s Shallow Grave, Kristian Matsson reveals
himself to be undoubtedly a man of the world and, probably, of his father’s
folkie record collection. Bert Jansch pops up, as does the ghost of Nick Drake,
but there’s far too much optimism and hope on the likes of the title track and
the lush “Troubles Will Be Gone” for anything too sad/sappy.
His offerings are
that of a tireless troubadour with a commendable, frenzied right-hand technique
that displays little regard for the well-being of the strings. And with that
unrestrained nasal croon—part rustic, part street-corner—it’s unavoidable to
compare him with Greenwich Village-era Dylan. Of course the lilting
jingle-jangle delivery is at least in part derived from a certain American
voice-of-a-generation, but this is still undeniably lyricism of a singular,
There is imagery to inspire bad high-school term papers (“The Drying of the Lawns”), and the vibe of dark bedroom poetry (“Burden of Tomorrow”). But with such tight, hooking turns of phrase, and such a heedless, wide-eyed, jaunty enthusiasm for, well, everything, it might be best to simply appreciate such a uniquely freewheelin’ force of nature.