The Tallest Man on Earth, 'The Wild Hunt' (Dead Oceans)

8
The Wild Hunt
Critical Mass
Label: Dead Oceans

by Amanda Petrusich

For folk singers, having a peculiar, gravelly voice and toting around an acoustic guitar can feel like an albatross: Few folks fare well in comparison to Bob Dylan. Yes, Swedish strummer Kristian Matsson grumbles wordy, thoughtful screeds over nimbly picked guitar, with nods to Skip James and Leadbelly -- but his second LP, The Wild Hunt, is also delightfully weird. Matsson is a Harry Smith acolyte, but his understanding of Americana (and American English) is fractured, and his songs are jammed with enough surprises to make him seem like a singular new talent.

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