Swedish folk singer The Tallest Man on Earth first collaborated with NYC ensemble yMusic at Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner’s Eaux Claires Music Festival in 2015, and they decided to keep that collaboration going. Today, they released an EP together which has new orchestral arrangements of Tallest Man songs by yMusic members CJ Camerieri and Rob Moose (who have both played with The National, Sufjan Stevens, and many others — Moose is also a former Bon Iver member). Three of the five songs are from 2012’s There’s No Leaving Now, Tallest Man’s most somber and most underrated album, and those songs are perfect for these kinds of arrangements. The album versions are so bare-bones that there’s plenty of room to add more layering, and the melancholic vibes of the songs go well with weeping horns and strings. They also included a cover of Joan Baez’s “East Virginia” and “Love Is All.” One of the quietest songs on The Wild Hunt, “Love Is All” concludes the EP and fits in perfectly with the other selections. The strings harmonizing with Kristian Matsson on the “oh-oh-oh-oh” part are a real nice touch. You can stream the whole EP below.
Tallest Man and yMusic are performing together once again, this time in Brooklyn on September 21 at Pioneer Works. Tickets are still available.