The music of Kristian Matsson (who records as the Tallest Man on Earth) doesn’t carry the same loneliness of other heartbroken folkies; Matsson’s music, instead, has solitude. Loneliness is a condition, a place you end up and from which you are eager to leave, but solitude is a choice. Like Henry James or Emily Dickinson, who best detail the workings of their mind when they are cloistered away from the world, Matsson is more concerned with a wellspring of autonomous thought rather than the chirpings of modern society. His voice and his guitar jig around some distant forest maypole, out of touch and out of sync with everything 21st-century. Instead, he’s loosely moored to his dreams, his wanderlust, and all the other broad stuff of poetry that glows brightest in total seclusion.
In all, this is a triumphant and very adult summer record. Its joys are tinged with sadness, its brightness is enhanced by the twilight of its boundaries. With Dark Bird Is Home, the Tallest Man on Earth has reached a new pinnacle.