Kristian Matsson, the Swedish native better known by his moniker The Tallest Man on Earth blew us all away with his raw & soulful folk album debut “Shallow Grave” in 2008. Then came forth the torrent of Bob Dylan comparisons and another album in 2010 that left us more in awe of how someone whose first language is not English could possibly write so poetically and beautifully in our native tongue.
More of the same on his latest album There’s No Leaving Now to be released June 12. The album is saturated with lyrical complexity with more instrumentation and catchy melodies than we’ve seen before. But as usual, Matsson successfully draws the listener into a world of uncertain beauty, reminding us that beauty and uncertainty need not be mutually exclusive.
As ever, he seems to invite us to explore our emotions, in particular, our reactions to the inherent uncertainty and doubt in life. His elusive lyrics again beg the question “Are these songs that are meant to be understood or songs meant to be felt?” Still, there are profound moments of clarity that hint at finding peace amid loneliness, uncertainty, and confusion.
In Leading You Now, Matsson implores us to use those around us to guide us out of pain and into beauty.
And you are leading me now/To the site where I flew from you/When your pace just scared me blind/We will come back and joke of days/When I sold you to the unkind/We will end up somehow/With a peaceful mind/And you are leading me now.
Somehow we will end up with a peaceful mind. There is no attempt to give answers or find security in being sure of anything. We need not be sure, but simply open to letting others lead us along the way. I know I find this comforting, as the older I grow, the less certain I feel I have the answers to anything. Artists like Matsson encourage the letting go of finding answers and the embrace of mystery.