Friday, January 01, 2016

RIB's 2015 Album of the Year: The Tallest Man on Earth -- Dark Bird is Home

Blurb reprinted from here.

Swedish guitar-picker Kristian Matsson, AKA The Tallest Man on Earth, often writes songs about being a traveler in solitude, but on his new record he’s added a backing band to his caravan, including Bon Iver’s Mike Noyce. And while that full-band sound might qualify as “going electric,” Matsson’s acoustic guitar has always had plenty of its own voltage. Ironically, this record, thematically, though far from cloistered – songs like “Little Nowhere Towns” and the standout “Seventeen” definitely have that open-road mix of hopefulness and weariness – there’s a lot less of that thrill of the chase which helped characterize past albums like “The Wild Hunt.” Matsson, who sings about a traveler coming home in “Slow Dance,” ends the record with the title track, in which a dying man sings to his lover as he enters into the afterlife. At one point – earlier on the record in “Sagres” – he laments “all this fucking doubt”; by the end of “Dark Bird is Home”, though, he’s crystal clear: “I thought that this would last for a million years/But now I need to go/Oh, fuck.” It’s the realization that another strange and extraordinary journey has come to an end, and a new one is ready to begin.

Past winners:

1993: Counting Crows -- August and Everything After
1994: R.E.M. -- Monster
1995: The Innocence Mission -- Glow
1996: Dave Matthews Band -- Crash
1997: U2 -- Pop
1998: R.E.M. -- Up
1999: John Linnell -- State Songs
2000: Radiohead -- Kid A
2001: Bjork -- Vespertine
2002: Wilco -- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2003: Bonnie "Prince" Billy -- Master and Everyone
2004: Wilco -- A Ghost is Born
2005: Sufjan Stevens -- Illinois
2006: The Decemberists -- The Crane Wife
2007: Radiohead -- In Rainbows
2008: Shearwater -- Rook
2009: Animal Collective -- Merriweather Post Pavilion
2010: Laura Veirs -- July Flame
2011: PJ Harvey -- Let England Shake
2012: Animal Collective -- Centipede Hz
2013: Mogwai -- Les Revenants
2014: Sun Kil Moon -- Benji

No comments: