Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. That’s got to be Kristian Matsson’s formula for success. The raspy voiced singer has been compared to Dylan on many occasions and although those are huge shoes to fill, Matsson seems to be trying to carry a torch of simplistic singer-songwriter folk music. Just releasing his third full album, There’s No Leaving Now, is just that, a simple back to basics kind of album that is carried by Matsson’s scratchy vocals, songwriting, and simple guitar rhythms.
To boil it down like that, you might think I don’t like this album. That is very untrue. I love it. In the past, he’s written mostly songs about running away, and claims on this record, something has changed, well he got married, and now plans on confronting a lot of the anxieties and pains presented in previous albums, thus the title … There’s No Leaving Now, and one track that feels eerily similar to “Kids on the Run,” from his The Wild Hunt. Sometimes, I’d say mixing it up and going in a new direction is great, the expansion and growth of an artist can be a wonderful thing. But Matsson I think is a different breed altogether, he’s pointed himself inward, stuck with his formula, dug his heels in and made another record full of solemn songs that can delight. It’s his direct no nonsense nature, his tradition of openness in his music that has delighted us for the last 3 albums.
Its a warm cup of coffee, a comfortable seat, and a lazy hour kind of album. A slow burner, that grows on you. You’re going to find all kinds of wonderful moments on this album, from the aforementioned titled track piano balladry, to the jangly “1904,” emotional vocals on “To Just Grow Away,” and the glimmering shimmer of “Criminals,” there are so many compelling moments on this record it is well worth the price of admission.