The Tallest Man on Earth: Henry St. (ANTI-) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, September 28th, 2023  

The Tallest Man on Earth

Henry St.


Jun 09, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The Tallest Man on Earth, aka Sweden’s Kristian Mattson, has built a career as a DIY guitarist and singer/songwriter. Known for his Bob Dylan-esque vocal rasp and Nick Drake-like fingerpicking style, Mattson’s music has always been poetic, deeply personal, magical in its symbolism, and complex in its simplicity. And he’s always been at the helm of his one-man operation, known for recording and producing all of his albums from his home studio in Sweden.

But on his sixth studio album, Henry St., Mattson found joy in collaboration. The album is his first one recorded in a full band setting, where Mattson was joined by Sylvan Esso’s Nick Sanborn on production duties (and playing several instruments), longtime friend and tour buddy Phil Cook (Megafaun), Ryan Gustafson (The Dead Tongues), CJ Camerieri and Rob Moose (Bon Iver), TJ Maiani, and Adam Schatz.

The songs on Henry St. all came out in a flood. After years spent tending his garden, and struggling to find creative inspiration off the road, Mattson had 20 songs to record in 10 days. Of the 11 tracks that made the final album cut, most deal with a central theme: how does one make sense of the world? Opening track “Bless You” is a cathartic and blissful rumination on living with chaos. “Looking for Love” is a tale of survival and existence, with a beautiful minor change that catches the listener by surprise. Mattson even returns to the humble banjo on the track “Major League,” which plays like a dream of an America gone by.

The title track, a beautiful piano piece that shows Mattson reflecting on his place in the world, stands out as the album’s turning point. It’s a dark lamentation, borne out of the release from lockdown restrictions that Mattson felt in late 2021. After “Henry St.,” the album’s tracks all sound like a new side to Mattson; the artist reinvented, reinvigorated, or perhaps reaching for a new path on a well trod hike.

Henry St. is a heartfelt return to form for Mattson, who somehow still manages to find beauty in the little things. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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