Dark Bird Is Home, the fourth album from The Tallest Man On Earth, doesn’t feel like it came from one time, one place, or one tape machine. The songs and sounds were captured in various countries, studios, and barns, and they carry a weather-worn quality, some dirt and some grit.
Early in Dark Bird, toward the end of the opening track, we hear other voices and sounds backing Kristian Matsson’s own. One of them, later credited in the liner notes with Angel Vocals, shows up several times throughout the record, adding new color to the familiar palette. And so the story grows and expands. That first song has horns and a piano, keyboards, synthesizers, and other modern noisemakers . . . and by track two you’ve got The Tallest Man on Earth as full-throttle rock and roll.
While Dark Bird is The Tallest Man at his most personal and direct, deeper and darker than ever at times, it’s also an album with strokes of whimsy and the scent of new beginnings — which feels fresh for The Tallest Man on Earth, and well timed. Reliably, the melodies and arrangements are sturdy and classic, like old cars and tightly wound clocks. The lyrics and their delivery are both comforting and alarming, like tall trees and wide hills.
The other musicians and layers on this recording put a wide lens on familiar themes. Fear and darkness, sleep or lack of it, dreams in the dark and in the light. Moving, leaving, going. Distance and short stops, long straight lines, temporal places. More hopefully, a grateful nod to a traveling partner, a healing mind. Maybe a little forgiveness needed. Definitely some things to forget.
The Tallest Man On Earth - Dark Bird Is Home
1. Fields Of Our Home
2. Darkness Of The Dream
4. Slow Dance
5. Little Nowhere Towns
10. Dark Bird Is Home