Kalle Mattson,
Live in Between
(independent, 2012)

Structurally, Live in Between is best understood as a five-song EP with a bonus track. There are enough common elements between the first five songs that they all connect to each other. The sound and style may range along the way, but they complement each other well. Then you get to the bonus track and get something very different. It is as well done as the rest, but it is out of place.

"Someday" opens with a raspy voice singing over some lovely finger-picking on the guitar. The harmonica brings out the mood of the song. The horns and percussion set the tone of "Sun is Gone," setting the stage for it to be outside on a sunny summer day. The third song in brings a third style of music, bringing out a fuller range of the electronica that you get a taste of at the end of the first song. "The Shore" has a wonderful extended instrumental section.

The instruments are dialed back in "Water Falls," and when that is combined with the slower tempo, more in line with a gentle folk song, it really brings the images in the lyrics home. The violin adds breadth to the music in "Miles in Between," which in turn supports the melancholy in the lyrics and the singing.

The bonus track, "Palm Sunday," reminds me of hard rock, circa the 1980s, and is decidedly very different from the other songs included here.

Kalle Mattson falls in the ever-broadening category of modern folk. And as much as I love listening to how the roots are stretched, it leaves me feeling sometimes like it is a catch-all category. Anyhow, Live in Between is certainly worth the listen and leaves me wanting to hear what comes next.

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Paul de Bruijn

22 September 2012

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