Kalle Mattson

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Kalle Mattson
Kalle Mattson, January 2014
Kalle Mattson, January 2014
Background information
Born (1990-09-21) September 21, 1990 (age 31)
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
OriginOttawa, Ontario
GenresFolk rock, alternative rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Years active2009–present
LabelsHome Music Co., Parliament of Trees, Trickser Tonträger
Associated actsThe Wooden Sky, Cuff The Duke, Jeremy Fisher, Howie Beck, Jim Bryson

Kalle Mattson (born Kalle Mattson Wainio, September 21, 1990, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) is a Canadian singer-songwriter based in Ottawa, Ontario.[1] He has performed both as a solo artist and as the leader of an eponymous band.


Wainio was a high school student at Sir James Dunn Collegiate and Vocational School in Sault Ste. Marie, when he began writing songs under the pseudonym Kalle Mattson to deal with his grief after his mother, Anne Gilmour, who died of cancer when he was 16.[2] In 2008 he released a 6-song EP Telescope, limited to 150 copies, he self-recorded the EP with childhood friend Rory Lewis.[3]

He released his first full-length album Whisper Bee in 2009.[4] It featured Lewis, local musician Frank Deresti and was recorded at the Sir James Dunn Collegiate and Vocational School music studio and was produced by teacher Mark Gough.[5]

By 2011 Kalle Mattson had grown into a full-band featuring Lewis, and fellow Sault-ites Thean Slabbert and Jimmie Chiverelli.[2] The band released the album Anchors in 2011.[6] The video for the song "Thick As Thieves", a "stop motion history of the world" created by animator Kevin Parry, attracted the band's first widespread media attention;[2] as a result, the band signed to the independent record label Parliament of Trees, which reissued Anchors in late 2011.[7]

In 2012, they released the EP Lives in Between.[8] The EP was supported by the single "Water Falls", whose video was again animated by Parry as a portrait of San Francisco.[9]

In 2014 Mattson released the full-length album Someday, the Moon Will Be Gold.[10] The album was produced by Gavin Gardiner from The Wooden Sky and featured Jeremy Fisher, members of Cuff The Duke along with contributions from Lewis, Slabbert, JF Beauchamp and Kyle Woods.[11] The album's cover was a painting by Mattson's mother, and the lyrical themes addressed Mattson coming to terms with the deaths of his mother and grandmother.[12] The album was supported by concert tours in Europe[13] and Canada,[14] and was longlisted for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.[15] Mattson won Best Songwriter and Best Album by a Solo Artist at the 2015 Northern Ontario Music & Film Awards.[16]

Mattson released the six-song EP Avalanche in August 2015.[17] The EP was produced by Colin Munroe and featured Ottawa musician Jim Bryson.[18] The EP's title track was accompanied by a video, directed by Philip Sportel, which depicts Mattson creatively recreating 35 iconic album covers over the course of 3:45 featuring the likes of Elliott Smith, Jay-Z, Wilco, Radiohead, The Velvet Underground, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Beck.[19] The video received a Juno Award nomination for Video of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2016[20] and a MuchMusic Video Award nomination for Best Director at the 2016 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards,[21] and won the 2016 Prism Prize.[22]

Later in 2015, he released a non-album acoustic cover of Drake's single "Hotline Bling".[23]

In 2016, Mattson toured Canada as an opening act for Jason Collett.[24]

He released his newest album, Youth, in 2018. The album was once again produced by Colin Munroe and was mixed by Noah Georgeson.[25]

Mattson has also collaborated with Andrew Sowka in the project Summersets, which released the EP Small Town Saturday in 2020.[26]


Year Album Record label
2008 Telescope Independent release
2009 Whisper Bee Independent release
2011 Anchors Parliament of Trees
2012 Lives in Between Parliament of Trees
2014 Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold Parliament of Trees
2015 Avalanche Home Music. CO
2018 Youth Independent release

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Armstrong, Denis (April 17, 2012). "Mattson's promise fuelled by The Boss". Ottawa Sun. Quebecor: Sun Media. ISSN 0843-2570. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "'Happy song, happy video'; Viral video gives boost to dynamic Ottawa folk-rock band". Ottawa Citizen, November 24, 2011.
  3. ^ "Fresh From The Post: Kalle Mattson". The Indie Music DB, March 2, 2010.
  4. ^ 'New Sound'; Folk rockers' new album mixed By Juno-Nominated Howie Beck". Sault Star, April 29, 2011.
  5. ^ "Anchors away for Kalle Mattson". Soo Today, December 2, 2010.
  6. ^ "Kalle Mattson's gussied-up folk tunes". Here, May 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "Canadian musicians to watch in 2012; Postmedia music critics consider which Canadian artists are poised for a breakout this year". Ottawa Citizen, January 5, 2012.
  8. ^ "Like Neil Young – but with strings; Kalle Mattson fuses folk jams and rock 'n' roll". Here, May 17, 2012.
  9. ^ "Kalle Mattson 'Waterfalls': New Video Takes Viewers On Hypnotic Trip Through San Francisco". Huffington Post, July 13, 2012.
  10. ^ "Kalle Mattson: Someday, the Moon Will Be Gold". Pitchfork, February 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "Kalle Mattson 'Someday, the Moon Will Be Gold' (album stream)". Exclaim!, February 4, 2014.
  12. ^ Oliver, David (March 17, 2014). "Premiere: Kalle Mattson's 'A Love Song to the City'". USA Today. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  13. ^ "Mattson packs bags for Europe". Sault Star, August 15, 2013.
  14. ^ "Kalle Mattson Books Canadian Tour". Exclaim!, August 8, 2014.
  15. ^ "Ottawa's Kalle Mattson makes the long list". Ottawa Citizen. June 19, 2014.
  16. ^ "A Sault sweep (sort of) at Northern Music Awards". Soo Today, May 31, 2015.
  17. ^ "Kalle Mattson Braces for an ‘Avalanche’ on New EP". Spin, August 14, 2015.
  18. ^ "New music: Someday, the world will be Kalle Mattson's". Ottawa Citizen. August 14, 2015.
  19. ^ "Kalle Mattson: "Avalanche" (video)". Exclaim!, July 30, 2015.
  20. ^ "Juno nod is 'big one'". Sault Star, February 6, 2016.
  21. ^ "Drake And Alessia Cara Top The Nominees For The 2016 MuchMusic Video Awards". Forbes, May 18, 2016.
  22. ^ "Philip Sportel Wins 2016 Prism Prize for Kalle Mattson's "Avalanche" Video". Exclaim!, May 15, 2016.
  23. ^ "Kalle Mattson: "Hotline Bling" (Drake cover) (video)". Exclaim!, December 1, 2015.
  24. ^ "Jason Collett Teams Up with Zeus and Kalle Mattson for Canadian Tour". Exclaim!, February 2, 2016.
  25. ^ "Sault native Kalle Mattson gives Youth a pop spin". Sault Star, September 21, 2018.
  26. ^ Sarah Chodos, "summersets' 'Small Town Saturday' Is Easy to Fall in Love With". Exclaim!, August 24, 2020.

External links[edit]