When fans lined up to see the sold-out Bon Iver performances at New York City’s Town Hall in late 2008, few of them went with any expectations of the opening act. But the audience that night, and on every other night of Bon Iver’s tour that December, was introduced to something special, something unforgettable: The Tallest Man On Earth. This was the first of several tours for the Tallest Man On Earth (aka Kristian Matsson), with obsessive crowds growing each step of the way.
Earlier in the year, The Tallest Man On Earth had released one of 2008’s most powerful records, one that Pitchfork praised, calling Matsson “a natural-born folksinger, earnest, clever, and comforting.” Shallow Grave could not have been more simple, just Matsson’s commanding vocals with an acoustic guitar or banjo, recorded at his home in Dalarna, Sweden. Although the album was released on the Swedish label Gravitation without the help of widespread distribution, the story of The Tallest Man On Earth spread far and wide through word of mouth.
It is impossible to discuss The Tallest Man On Earth’s music without acknowledging Bob Dylan. The seemingly effortlessness, the melodic sensibility and the deft lyricism all recall Dylan’s early years. But when you witness the Tallest Man On Earth perform live, you are watching a man possessed. The energy pours out with every word. Full of intensity and raw emotion, he paces the stage, bringing the audience into the palm of his hand, completely lost in his songs.
With unbridled excitement, we bring you The Tallest Man On Earth’s second album, The Wild Hunt, to be released April 12 on CD/LP/Digital formats.
It is all here: The words. The voice. The melodies. Ten perfect songs. Dead Oceans is offering a free download of The Wild Hunt's first single, "King Of Spain":
The Tallest Man On Earth will play a sold out one-off UK show at London's Bush Hall on Monday March 15 as part of a wider European tour, more dates to follow later this year.