12.14.2008

The Tallest Man On Earth - "I Won't Be Found"



Kristian Matsson, who performs and records as The Tallest Man On Earth, might ape the pre-1966 Bob Dylan more than the pre-1966 Bob Dylan aped Woody Guthrie. While such a slavish reproduction of another's sound can sometimes get in the way of one's enjoyment of an artist, it is easy to look past when the resulting song is this good.

"I Won't Be Found" is the lead track on The Tallest Man On Earth's debut full-length Shallow Grave which saw US release on Gravitation in March of 2008. And it is a stunner. Nearly three minutes of delicate fingerpicking, hushed nasal inflected singing (where the Dylan influence is most readily apparent), and touching lyrics that address the age-old question, "Would anybody even notice if I died today?"

Sidenote 1: In a folk tradition that spans centuries, Matsson liberally borrows lyrics from the traditional folk song "I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground" by Bascom Lamar Lunsford. That song was recorded in Ashland, KY (my birthplace) in 1928. This shows that The Tallest Man On Earth has been doing his homework. And, while this cribbing would be frowned upon in some types of music, in folk music it is typically viewed more as tribute than theft.

Sidenote 2: This artist is yet another Swede. While this isn't a Swedish music blog, it sure does feel like it sometimes. As every other post seems to relate to an artist hailing from that nation. This just speaks to the great pool of talent there, an exciting development in indie music right now.

Download - "I Won't Be Found"
Download - "I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground"
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