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Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012

The Tallest Man on Earth w/ Strand of Oaks

Tonight @ The Pabst Theater, 7 p.m.

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Over several releases as The Tallest Man on Earth, Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson has emerged as one of contemporary folk's leading wordsmiths. On his 2008 debut full-length, Shallow Grave, clever and dark lyrics blend with sunny rhythms and melodies. Matsson's voice was almost uncanny in its resemblance to Bob Dylan on his 2010 sophomore album, The Wild Hunt, and on his most recent full-length, this year's moving There's No Leaving Now, he features his most introspective songs yet. He offers a dose of hope in tracks like the stripped-down ballad “1904,” flaunts a vintage sound with subtly muffled microphone filters on the humble, finger-picked guitar track “Leading Me Now,” and nearly cries his way through the album's piano-laced title track. Matsson is well paired on this bill with Strand of Oaks, the haunting folk project of another songwriter with an indelible voice, Timothy Showalter.