The Tallest Man On Earth

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No, this is not a post about a very tall man with a world record, it is about Kristian Matsson, a Swedish singer-songwriter who goes by the name: The Tallest Man On Earth. He has been around in the indie-folk music scene since 2006 when he released “The Tallest Man On Earth” EP. According to a review that appeared in The Guardian in 2012, “his voice has much the same husk and growl (as Mumford & Sons lead vocalist, Marcus Mumford), his guitar-playing a similar formulaic attack as he flips between stampeding chords and fluttering arpeggios”.

He has been compared to Bob Dylan, both because of his music and his lyrics. As Maddy Costa from the Guardian states, “influence of Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and their folk antecedents in his sound”. Those antecedents mentioned are American folk artists such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. His music is pure magic for the ears. His husky voice and amazing guitar skills combines in a perfect combination. As Derek Steinborn, from Artist Spotlight puts it, Intricate finger picking on guitar and banjo, catchy melodies and touching lyrics are the makeup of The Tallest Man On Earth’s music”. His ability to write meaningful lyrics is amazing, considering that English is his second language. His recurrent topics and images are nature and animals. As the Guardian’s review puts it: “The more he sings of deer and frogs, the more his music sounds like birdsong and the more he seems like some forest creature”. Clear examples of this are the songs “Love Is All” or “Where Do My Bluebird Fly”.

His live performances are something that need to be experienced, I cannot explain with words how passionate he is when playing guitar, the way he contorts and moves while concentrated in his guitar or the way he tries to make eye contact with everyone in the audience. He delivers an spectacular performance, that will surely end with a standing ovation or a deafening round of applause.

Let’s take a look at his albums:

Shallow Grave (2008)

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His debut album, recorded with a single microphone and a guitar. What is amazing about it is that, as Pitchfork’s writer Amanda Petrusich says, “we hear the scratch of fingernails on string (and, on occasion, the chirping of birds in the background)”.

Best songs of the album (with links to acoustic performances):

-The Gardener

-I Won’t Be Found

-Where Do My Bluebird Fly

The Wild Hunt (2010)

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This is certainly an album with a strong Bob Dylan influence both in melody and lyrical references. In it, we can find great treasures that will make us feel. Because, that is what The Tallest Man On Earth’s music does, it touches you and your heart.

Best songs on the album (with links to acoustic performances):

King Of Spain

-Love Is All

-Burden Of Tomorrow

There’s No Leaving Now (2012)

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This is his last and most recent album. One of the songs, made it to the radio and was quite popular for some time. The sound is different, from the other albums, because he has incorporated drums, woodwinds and additional fingerpicking, according to Lindsay Zoladz’s review. But there are still the same folk and Bob Dylan-y sounds like in the previous albums.

Best songs on the album (with links to acoustic performances):

1904

-Revelation Blues

-Criminals

SOURCES:

Derek Steinborn (2011) Artist Spotlight: The Tallest Man On Earth. Retrieved Dec. 18 2013 from http://themidwestman.com/2011/02/artist-spotlight-the-tallest-man-on-earth/

Maddy Costa (2012) The Tallest Man On Earth- review. Retrieved Dec. 18 2013 from http://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/oct/24/tallest-man-on-earth-review

Amanda Petrusich (2008) Shallow Grave. Retrieved Dec. 18 2013 from http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/11359-shallow-graves/

Stephen M. Deusner (2010) The Wild Hunt. Retrieved Dec. 18 2013 from http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/14110-the-wild-hunt/

Lindsay Zoladz (2012) There’s No Leaving Now. Retrieved Dec. 18 2013 from http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16711-theres-no-leaving-now/

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