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The Tallest Man On Earth_ Brandon Artis Photography-4_small.jpg

The Tallest Man on Earth

photography Brandon Artis | @_brandonartis
words Danica Gergely


Initially the name “The Tallest Man on Earth” when referring to Kristian Matsson, seems a bit paradoxical. Within mere moments of his set beginning however, it is made apparent that regardless of how soft spoken or small in stature he may be, the man in his performance lives up to his name. Before the lights even came on, Matsson was leaping in to the crowd (literally), and within seconds it seemed as the lights turned on and focused in on the stage, he was already entrancing the entire space of the Orpheum into the depths of his seemingly hypnotic melodies.



Albeit a reluctant comparison to make, as Nick Drake is a personal favourite, it is in this case, entirely deserved. As far as intricacy and talent in acoustic chording is concerned, Kristian Matsson is undoubtedly the most remarkable I’ve heard since.  That being said, although The Tallest Man on Earth’s roots lie heavily in realm of old folk music including past greats, such as Dylan, Cohen, and Nick Drake, he is not simply a modern revival. Matsson, along with his newly acquired band members, Mike Noyce (strings, and guitar), Ben Lester (Piano, Synthesizer), Zach Hanson (drums), and Mike Lewis (Bass, Saxophone), are armed with a decisive new flair. 



The crowd transitioned in emotion, as frequently as Kristian Matsson sifted through his collection of guitars, and guitar picks alike.  From swaying, and tears inspired by Matsson’s seated solo performance, to an uproarious dance floor in response to songs like, “Timothy”, performed from The Tallest Man on Earth’s newest album, Dark Bird Is Home.  Not only is their music evocative, but equally innovative and unpredictable. After an expected outcry for an encore, The Tallest Man on Earth was gladly welcomed back on stage to perform one more piece. Once again displaying their raw talent to seamlessly bounce between the old and modernity, The Tallest Man on Earth ended with an almost hymnal-style song entitled, “Like A Wheel”. It required every band member to group together to sing a cappella in perfect harmony. As this surreal tune came to an end, the band humbly bowed. The lights dimmed, and the crowd left in silence, a subsequent effect after an hour entranced in the depths of The Tallest Man on Earth’s remarkable melodies.



The Tallest Man on Earth's Dark Bird is Home is out now on Dead Oceans.

All photographs are by Brandon Artis, Brandon Artis Photography | IG: @_brandonartis

Posted on September 1, 2015