'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 the album, toward the end of the opening track, we hear other voices and sounds backing Kristian Matsson's AKA The Tallest Man On Earth) own. One of them, later credited in the liner notes with Angel Vocals, shows up several times throughout the record, adding new colour 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.