Kalle Mattson – “A Long Time Ago” (Stereogum Premiere)

Kalle Mattson – “A Long Time Ago” (Stereogum Premiere)

I first heard Ottawa singer-songwriter Kalle Mattson last year, when his third Polaris Prize-nominated album Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold crossed the border down from Canada and out into the wider reaches of the world. It was an album written about him coming to terms with his mother’s death, it was an album about loss, hope and pain. If you haven’t heard it, make an effort to seek it out. As is the case with major life events like the death of a parent, Mattson had a few songs that were more like an extension of Someday than a whole new album on their own, and he’s collected them onto the Avalanche EP that comes out in late August.

In discussing the EP, Mattson used one of my favorite aphorisms: “Doing the same thing twice but expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” So, Avalanche sounds slightly less folk and slightly more pop than his break-out record. We’re premiering the lead track “A Long Time Ago” and it’s replete with slick, whispered harmonies and echoing drum machines that build and release tension in slow revolving whirrs, reminiscent of Phosphorescent’s last record, Muchacho. But first and foremost is Mattson’s paper thin, wavering voice, strong in its freedom to be weak, fearless in vulnerability. As he ponders how far away adolescence seems to an adult, all his tiny memories snap that period back into focus like an image on a projector. Mattson may have updated his sound a bit, but he filters this song through the unflinching light the past, and prism that bends to the nostalgic will of this still emerging songwriter. Listen.

The Avalance EP was produced by Colin Munroe and mixed by Alex Aldi. Here’s the tracklist:

01 “Avalanche”
02 “Lost Love”
03 “Left Behind”
04 “A Long Time Ago”
05 “New Romantics”
06 “Baby Blue”

The Avalanche EP is out 8/21 via Home Music Co.

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