Friday, November 13, 2009

The Modest New Face of Folk?

Is the myth of folk music gone? No, quite the contrary as a matter of fact. All around the world musicians are looking to their folk roots and establishing themselves as folk based artists. Dalarna, Sweden is no exception to this either. Under the moniker of The Tallest Man on Earth, Kristian Mattson has stepped into the scene. What sets Mattson apart from other contemporary folk artists, (Trapper, Oberst, Iver) is his traditionally based sound. Mattson is a humble man who would never compare himself to Bob Dylan as anything more than an inspiration, however his wounded howling stripped vocals, delightfully melancholy acoustic strum fits, and brilliant lyrics would put him far above many of the striving artists currently in circulation. I won't go as far as to title him as the "Dylan of this age" but i will be so bold as to call him the one with the potential to breath life back into the genre as a widely accepted one again, much as what Iver has the potential to do as well. Through Tallest Man, Mattson is able to speak freely and truly, as an artist hopes to as best they can. His sincere affection is apparent in cuts like The Gardner, and The Sparrow and the Medicine, both off of his much enjoyed 2008 release, Shallow Grave after his well received self titled 2007 E.P. He also more than holds his own with his more playful tracks, Like Honey Won't You Let Me In. His traditional side flourishes in the beautiful raw power of Pistol Dreams, with his vocals at their peak soul provoking, modest cowboy folk singer levels. He is
a quiet, modest artist who stays out of the media for the most part, so not much is known regarding his next release. But with how well produced and lovely Shallow Grave came to be, it is not hard to comprehend that it probably wont be for long until the next one drops. For those interested, he finished a tour with Bon Iver in the begining of this year, and the videos are on google video. So is Mattson the new poster child of the folk world? That's for you to decide, but in my opinion, as much as i Love Oberst, its about time a new face stepped in...

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