Six Feet Small
August 2, 2010 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Kristian Matsson is The Tallest Man on Earth. Really.

Many have Matsson pegged as the continuation of the American folk tradition. But there's only one thing wrong with that statement: he's Swedish. There's definitely something to be found in The Tallest Man on Earth's music.
posted by makethemost (28 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bands I get confused

1. The Tallest Man on Earth
2. The Whitest Boy Alive
posted by jcruelty at 12:54 PM on August 2, 2010


Saw him recently in Portland. Best one-man-show I've ever seen.
posted by nímwunnan at 12:55 PM on August 2, 2010


I'm glad your last link was his Take Away Show. He's great. I saw him play once, after listening to his records for a while. He's a fantastic and engaging performer; he did not disappoint.

Also, swedesplease is a great blog for following Swedish indie music. It's also the first place I heard about The Tallest Man on Earth, a few years ago.
posted by defenestration at 12:56 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone - please - tell me that I wasn't the only person that started watching the video and thought, "He doesn't look that tall....hmmm.... I wonder if they're going to pull out and there'll be some mad perspective trick going on, and that guitar is actually the size of a small horse."

Nice voice though.
posted by metaxa at 1:00 PM on August 2, 2010 [13 favorites]


I have officially begun my descent into Clueless Old Man and now feel that most indie music sounds like all other indie music (I know! I know! BUT I HAVE A DAY JOB) but I've been listening pretty obsessively to The Tallest Man on Earth for a while.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:04 PM on August 2, 2010


So that's a specially made giant guitar he's using?
posted by orme at 1:06 PM on August 2, 2010


Sounds a lot like Langhorne Slim to me, and now I'm bummed I missed a chance to see this guy live in Portland. Dang!
posted by mathowie at 1:14 PM on August 2, 2010


Nice guitar playing but he's no Robert Wadlow.
posted by not_on_display at 1:23 PM on August 2, 2010


Your first post is a gimmicky PR linkjob about some flavor-of-the-week folker on NPR?? "This band's cool" posts aren't MeFi-grade. Stick with your Twitter.
posted by electricsandwich138 at 1:24 PM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


^ Agreed. But if we're plugging here then check Finn LeMarinel.
posted by R.Stornoway at 1:29 PM on August 2, 2010


Someone - please - tell me that I wasn't the only person that started watching the video and thought, "He doesn't look that tall...."

Ha. Uh, yeah, I did the same thing. Like the music a lot though.
posted by tiger yang at 1:37 PM on August 2, 2010


Note to my favorite small-venue musicians: two days of voice lessons separate you from greatness.
posted by clarknova at 1:39 PM on August 2, 2010


two days of voice lessons separate you from greatness.

See also: Bob Dylan, Neil Young.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:44 PM on August 2, 2010


Fantastic performer. Thanks for the link.

Reminded me of Langhorne Slim or early M Ward.
posted by dobbs at 1:48 PM on August 2, 2010


two days of voice lessons separate you from greatness.

Sometimes this is true but in the wrong direction.
posted by Decani at 1:52 PM on August 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just to give you an idea of how tall he is: those aren't CDs in the background. Those are Laserdiscs.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:53 PM on August 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I met Kristian Matsson after he opened for John Vanderslice last year, and I've been a fan ever since. John, his band, and Kristian stayed around after the show and we talked about their instruments; I'd been sketching them all as cartoon characters during the show. For being the " The Tallest Man on Earth" he's actually a short whisp of a guy, but he radiates energy and has those sinewy forearms that only grow on really passionate guitar players.

I'm really happy that he's getting some recognition, and hope he keeps getting good press.
posted by Alison at 2:03 PM on August 2, 2010


musical chops, sincere energy, but there's something about his words and melodies - surprising and unique. When I first heard his music, it was the only thing I wanted to listen to. Also puts on a great show. And I *like* his voice.
posted by lbf at 2:39 PM on August 2, 2010


Even though after listening to one of his albums for a while I realized that nearly all his songs have the same sound, I still love to listen.
posted by tybeet at 2:49 PM on August 2, 2010


Your first post is a gimmicky PR linkjob about some flavor-of-the-week folker on NPR?? "This band's cool" posts aren't MeFi-grade. Stick with your Twitter.

whatever - don't listen to this Cooler-Than-Thou crap

good job & thank you, makethemost
posted by jammy at 2:52 PM on August 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


My favorite song of his is "It Will Follow the Rain." It has a quiet melancholy that I find mesmerizing.
posted by sonic meat machine at 2:52 PM on August 2, 2010


oh, and the studio version/video
posted by sonic meat machine at 2:54 PM on August 2, 2010


Ha - just posted about him in a thread on Bob Dylan a couple weeks ago. For the one and only time in my life, I'm ahead of the curve so thanks to my hipster friends in Vancouver for the recommendation!

In my comment, I said the Tallest Man on Earth reminded me of what Bob Dylan might sound like if Dylan was starting out today. A couple weeks later with lots of heavy listening of his albums and I only think that statement is even more true.
posted by Jaybo at 5:13 PM on August 2, 2010


(* Not really)
posted by bicyclefish at 7:11 PM on August 2, 2010


I had a hard time getting into his stuff at first, and I tried to write him off as being too obviously a knock-off of Dylan. He finally wedged his way into my listening life with the all-banjo version of "I want you" from his Daytrotter session, and I haven't been able to resist him since.
posted by god hates math at 7:43 PM on August 2, 2010


good job & thank you, makethemost.

Correct, Jammy. This guy is great and I wouldn't have heard of him if it weren't for this post.
posted by pianoboy at 8:54 PM on August 2, 2010


I've played his albums to death over the past few years and decided that the comparison to Dylan is a bit misleading.

I originally thought it was an apt description because his voice sounds kind of like Dylan, and especially on the newest album there's a lot of melodic phrasing that echoes some of Dylan's tunes.

Maybe it's because I've only listened through the early Dylan yet but I consider Bob Dylan a functional or practical folk musician. He's not particularly good at guitar. He'll murder a song with harmonica. Still, he's great at song writing and lyrics.

Tallest Man's appeal for me is that he's a sick guitarist. He's got a great sound underneath his voice because he's actually taking full advantage of the instrument he's playing. Compared to Dylan, his lyrics are maybe a bit out there but I like how whimsical they are.

You could put them both in the same genre but the comparison is kind of surface level imho. I guess his music isn't for everyone, but if you aren't into grandpa's guitars then you probably wouldn't like either of them anyway.
posted by grizzly at 6:24 AM on August 3, 2010


I saw him perform at the Pitchfork Music Festival last month. He was excellent.
posted by hworth at 8:08 AM on August 3, 2010


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