“On Dark Bird, Matsson’s voice, reedy and resonant, is recorded raw and seemingly almost inside the microphone. The effect is one of feeling a brain on fire while setting its sights on itself, and the byproduct is a yen for moments of serene relief as a result.”
— NPR Music’s “First Listen”
“[‘Dark Bird Is Home’] finds Matsson in familiar territory: Pondering spirits, sorrow, and ‘the end’ amidst a backdrop of dust, daylight, and valleys. Matsson’s narrator is alone, but he longs to be in the company of someone else. And what begins as a simple acoustic number soon erupts into a multi-layered instrumental that sounds as pretty and contemplative as anything he’s ever done.”
“That voice undersells nothing: There are no wanly delivered lines, no flat and dour stretches of singing. His voice is prismatic, used like an old-guard storyteller who hews his words to any kind of feeling he wants. “
The Tallest Man On Earth (aka Sweden’s Kristian Matsson) releases his fourth and fullest album, Dark Bird Is Home, today on Dead Oceans. It is deeper, darker more sophisticated and personal than anything The Tallest Man has previously created. Reliably, the melodies and arrangements are sturdy and classic, and the lyrics and their delivery are both comforting and alarming. You should expect the loudest and proudest songs yet from The Tallest Man On Earth on album number four, but also the softest and the lowest.
Tomorrow, The Tallest Man will kick off his first ever tour with a full-band, and next week he’ll make his late night television debut. In between Forecastle and Lollapalooza, he’s adding a Midwest tour, which will include a performance at the Newport Folk Festival, as well as an additional New York show in June. Full dates and tickets after the jump
Today marks the worldwide release day for Bill Fay’s acclaimed Who Is The Sender?, the followup to 2012’s Life Is People. Recorded at Ray Davies‘ Konk Studios in North London, the 13 tracks demonstrate the immense talent of the living folk legend. Listen to lead single ‘War Machine’above or on YouTube / SoundCloud page and purchase the album below.
Who Is The Sender? Tracklisting:
1. The Geese Are Flying Westward
2. War Machine
3. How Little?
4. Underneath The Sun
5. Something Else Ahead
6. Order Of The Day
7. Who Is The Sender?
8. Freedom To Read
9. Bring It On Lord
10. A Page Incomplete
11. A Frail And Broken One
12. World Of Life
13. I Hear You Calling (Studio Reunion)
“On Dark Bird, Matsson‘s voice, reedy and resonant, is recorded raw and seemingly almost inside the microphone. The effect is one of feeling a brain on fire while setting its sights on itself, and the byproduct is a yen for moments of serene relief as a result.” — NPR Music’s “First Listen”
Dark Bird Is Home will be available to stream for two weeks via NPR Music’s “First Listen” leading into its May 12th release on Dead Oceans.
Stream Dark Bird Is Home via NPR Music’s “First Listen” –
During the month of April in a UK city near you, you’re likely to see an affable mid-western American charmer, purposefully roaming your streets. He’ll be wielding an acoustic guitar, and likely frequenting your local pub for the best lagers on offer before he plays a killer set featuring tracks from his highly praised Dead Oceans debut Primrose Green.
He goes by the name Ryley Walker, and if he does pop into your local and you do say “hi”, that tiny speck of doubt about not attending one of his seven shows in the United Kingdom will be as distant as that inconsequential dream about “work” or “family” you had last night.
Here’s a handy list to help you plan your venture to one of the best folk-jazz shows around – dates and venues that transcend the North/South divide. He truly is the man for all the people:
04/18/15 London, UK – Sebright Arms [Sold Out]
04/19/15 Manchester, UK – The Castle BUY TICKETS
04/20/15 Bristol, UK – Start The Bus BUY TICKETS
04/21/15 Cardiff, UK – Clwb lfor Bach BUY TICKETS
04/22/15 Coventry, UK – The Tin at the Coal Vaults BUY TICKETS
04/23/15 Leeds, UK – Brudenell Cards Room BUY TICKETS
04/24/15 Brighton, UK – The Hope & Ruin [SOLD OUT]
Fans based in London that might have missed the boat on his now sold out show at East London’s local haunt the Sebright Arms, are lucky on two accounts. Firstly, in light of the Record Store Day taking place this Saturday [18/04], Walker will be playing tow in-stores at west and central London’s inimitable independent record stores Sister Ray and Rough Trade West. Full times and line up below, and it’ll be strictly intimate and unplugged.
Rough Trade West – 12.30 Sister Ray Soho – 14.00 Sister Ray Ace – 17.30
Secondly, some wily booking agent has thought ahead for those who’d like to see Walker and his full band. Although you’ll have to wait a few months if you missed out on this weekend’s headline slot, Walker will play Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 2 September. Buy tickets here, while they’re still available.
But why take our word for it? Their are a litany of UK based journalist who’d also state that missing a Walker show would be a grave mistake, and here are the quotes to prove it:
“An instant out-of-time classic… “
Uncut – 9/10 (Album Of The Month)
“Walker has arrived at the same questing folk-jazz territory explored by Tim Buckley and John Martyn – but with equivalent intensity, not limp nostalgia… Utterly delightful and as fresh as tomorrow.”
The Independent – 5 Stars *****
“Ryley is firmly in the lineage of romantic outsider folk guitarists.”
MOJO – 4 Stars ****
“Combining jazzy looseness, rustic picking and an undertow of drugular mind expansion, this is one head cocktail that leaves no pain after it hits.”
Q – 4 Stars ****
“Walker has an uncanny feel for the triangulation of folk, jazz and blues that came from the fleet fingers of Bert Jansch and John Fahey”
NME – 8/10
The Sun – 4.5/5
“Lovers of Bert Jansch and John Martyn will listen to the jazzy chord changes and tales of misadventures on Primrose Green and wonder whether this is really a new release or are they experiencing an unussually mellow acid flashback. The record is bound together by an appealingly laconic mood.”
The Times – 4 Stars ****
“For his dazzling second album, Walker flaunts his influences with assurance, while his virtuoso diligence also upholds their spirit of committed exploration.”
The Independent on Sunday – 4 Stars ****
“A beautiful record… Sometimes a new artist comes along that makes you pause for breath.”
Shinding – 4 Stars ****
A mystical record… Expansive and moving.
DIY – 4 Stars ****