Press Play: The Tallest Man On Earth

The Tallest Man on Earth is a tall title to live up to. It is a title that Kristian Matsson rises to.  Kristian Matsson was not born with these pressures, but rather he took them on. His musical journey began in a flock of musicians. He was previously the lead singer for the indie band Montezumas. He decided to turn up the heat and start flying solo in 2006.

It was that year that he released his first solo EP The Tallest Man On Earth which was received very well by critics and fans. It can be assumed that the quick thrust into the public spotlight made Matsson uncomfortable. The artist has admitted to deliberately disassociating himself from his music in the early days. Matsson refused to release any personal information or photographs in those days because he wanted the music to speak for itself. A sentiment he now in retrospect he finds to be naïve. In the midst of learning these lessons about having a musical career Matsson was learning lessons in life and love as well.

The artist was married to Amanda Bergman also known by her stage name Idiot Wind. The two collaborated on writing music for a Swedish film drama.  However, their partnership and success was not enough to keep the two together. In spite of the significant changes, Matsson’s music career continued to flourish.TTMON2

He began to perform under the stage name Tallest Man On Earth. In 2008, Matsson hit his tall man stride with the release of his album Shallow Grave.  It was a hit. Shallow Grave made its way onto Pitchfork’s list of 50 best albums of 2008. Shallow Grave rolled in at a shy #47. This recognition launched Matsson’s music to an international level enabling him to tour his music in the United States, Europe, and Australia. As listeners became more familiar with him, Matsson began getting compared to world renowned artist Bob Dylan.

A comparison that made sense to Matsson since he has been listening to Bob Dylan since he was a teenager. He also credits much of his influence to Emmylou Harris, Feist, and Catpower, but mentions that most people miss these similarities. In April 2010, he released his second album The Wild Hunt, which was quickly followed up by an EP Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird.  Both of these musical debuts went over well with audiences. The second album’s incarnation did not go over as smoothly as the first. Matsson ran into conflict with several record labels due to them wanting to recast his creations in a more commercial form. In the end he decided to release his album through Dead Oceans, describing the labels as “geeks like myself.” Although the beginning stages of releasing the album proved to be challenging Matsson was right to stick to his creative guns. The sophomore album granted the singer/songwriter several Grammy nominations.

Matsson went on to record two more albums. The third being There’s No Leaving Now (2012) and the fourth Dark Bird Is Home (2015).  He is well known for his charismatic live performances, and his self-recorded and produced material. He attributes the quality of his live performances to having a strong connection between his vocals and guitar. The artist rarely records his vocal and guitar tracks separately. Therefore, whether listeners catch a live performance, or pop on some headphones the experience will be close to the same. It will be spectacular. Be sure to press play on The Tallest Man On Earth.

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