It’s strange to think that it took a Swede to capture the spirit of American folk music, or at least come the closest to imitating it. But with the recent release of Shallow Grave, the debut LP from Sweden’s own The Tallest Man on Earth, Americana has been given the Swedish touch, sans clogs. With his ramshackle delivery, nimble fingerpicking, and whimsical lyrics (not to mention the “mysteriously” cryptic press photos of the singer with rolled jeans and bare chest), you get a sense that the Tallest Man on Earth has spent a lot of time absorbing Harry Smith’s Anthology of Folk Music and Dylan’s The Times They Are a-Changin’ – without the latter’s overt socio-political commentary. Like Dylan, who aped the musical and visual style of his pre-war forebears but later developed his own sound, the Tallest Man on Earth is a highly gifted singer-songwriter who may be a bit derivative, but what music isn’t?
[download] “Pistol Dreams“