Dark Bird Is Home

The Tallest Man On Earth - Dark Bird Is Home
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2015 Ratings: #484 / 887
User Score
Based on 120 ratings
2015 Ratings: #343
May 12, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Dead Oceans / Label
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As charismatic as Matsson’s Tallest Man on Earth has become over the last decade, he’s showing even more signs of timelessness as the fruits of his craft ripen.

The 405

The seemingly effortless switch to a full band suits Matsson's voice and his songwriting, the increased scope allows him to showcase the depth of his talent in ways that he couldn't on his own.

Drowned in Sound

There may be less outsider allure now that he’s opened his heart, but his fourth consistently good LP in a row casts his authenticity in emotional honesty for the first time while expanding his musical palette beyond all expectations.


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.


It's also his most stylized and welcoming, suggesting that Kristian Matsson (a.k.a. the Tallest Man on Earth) possesses a charm and personality that hadn't fully been exposed on his earlier works.

The Guardian

After three albums of wordy folk minimalism, he’s reached his noisy stage – and it’s promising. 

Consequence of Sound

The focus has shifted. The production on Dark Bird doesn’t take the reins; it’s just a new box of crayons that fill in his creation, swapping the old colors of his trade for the pale blue of gospel choirs and the sunshine orange of trumpets.

Under The Radar

Though very different, Dark Bird comes damn close to surpassing the strength of Shallow Grave, The Tallest Man on Earth's first and eternally incredible album, and as Matsson continues to evolve, so too will fans keep coming back for more.

Pretty Much Amazing

These ten tracks comprise dreamy arrangements, laden with longing, and steeped in nostalgia. Thematically, Matsson’s concerns revolve around the search for the notion of home, of the passage of time, of feelings of doubt.


Dark Bird Is Home is Matsson’s most coherent vision yet, a fully realized monument to a crumbling marriage and a future that’s lyric sheet reads far more uncertain than the lush production soundtracking it.


Dark Bird Is Home shows the Tallest Man on Earth can have it both ways, and this more polished and tuneful exercise in modern-day folk-rock is effective and engaging music that speaks from the heart and soul.

Slant Magazine

The darkness and ambivalence that haunt its shadows ... give the album depth and longevity well beyond its something-for-everyone first impression.

No Ripcord

Dark Bird Is Home is an improvement over the Tallest Man on Earth’s previous effort, as it breaks out of his established musical palette just when it began to feel as if he had nothing else to offer.

The Line of Best Fit

On Dark Bird Is Home, Matsson turns lyrically inward, a deep self-examination of a life on the road, while pursuing some of the most capacious arrangements of his young career.

A.V. Club

Dark Bird Is Home is melodically rich and emotionally resonant, even when some moments argue that bigger isn’t necessarily better.


Matsson still hasn't "gone electric," and blessedly still avoids the MOR folk-rock tropes of stomping and big-ticket whoa-oh'ing. Behind all the arrangements, front and center on every track, is still his voice.


For all his wayfaring tendencies, it’s refreshing to hear an album from Mattson that feels as though he’s found solace in something or someone, and the richer instrumentation never compromises the album’s overall sense of intimacy.

The Skinny

That first album had it right: Mattson really needs no more than his voice and guitar to prove himself.

Went back to this album lately after it was like my morning prayer in 2015. And wow this thing has aged like fine wine. The tallest man on earth with the guitar riffs that hit you right in the heart and make you imagine the most beautiful places on earth. Let's not forget to mention the poetic lyrical content and the sublime indie vocals.
it's good; now ditch the band
There are some tracks that really stand out, but the others are just mediocre and easily forgettable. A bit to bright for a folk album, but it's enjoyable and catchy in some moments.
Best Song: Sagres
Worst Song: Seventeen
Best Build: Dark Bird Is Home
★★★★★: All
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Track List

  1. Fields of Our Home
  2. Darkness of the Dream 
  3. Singers 
  4. Slow Dance 
  5. Little Nowhere Towns 
  6. Sagres 
  7. Timothy 
  8. Beginners
  9. Seventeen
  10. Dark Bird Is Home
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Added on: February 10, 2015