Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Like the Wheel” by The Tallest Man on Earth from the 2010 EP Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird on Dead Oceans.
Sweden’s Kristian Matsson, or The Tallest Man on Earth, is unleashing more sonic goodies for us to gnaw on this year, perhaps since we’ve waited so patiently during the nearly two years between his debut, Shallow Grave, and the very recently released The Wild Hunt. Today’s Song of the Day comes from the new EP, Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird, and it’s a melancholy one, stripped down and echoey, layered with intricate picking and trickling acoustic guitar, and sustaining his rough voice, sharply pitched and gravelly whilst emoting those folky, homey lyrics. With an affinity for nature and balladeering — like his oft touted touchstone Bob Dylan, but with a little more warmth and coherence — Kristian Matsson tunes his voice to earthy things, like swamps and frogs, and old thin trees if only they could speak. His voice cracks in odd places as if on purpose, so well-choreographed yet also subconscious and organic.
Having toured with Bon Iver in 2008, the Swedish troubadour has gotten used to playing to sold out crowds and deemed it only appropriate to start headlining his own. He’s currently on tour in Europe at the moment, and if you’re perchance somewhere across the pond, check out the details on his MySpace page, where the frequently updated and numerous sold out shows are posted. If you’re stuck on this side, though, you can watch this video from his performance live on KEXP from Portland’s beautiful Doug Fir Lounge during Musicfest Northwest this past September: