If you’re not familiar with The Tallest Man on Earth‘s music, I’d be surprised that you somehow found an indie folk blog. But here’s a brief introduction to his music. Kristian Matsson is the “Tallest Man on Earth,” a Swedish singer songwriter who is known for his distinctive vocal, intellectual lyrics, and raucous live performances. Suffice it to say when I saw his self-written, -shot, and -directed videos on YouTube, I was thrilled to hear what he was up to. They are next-level amazing.
The first one introduces us to the concept of the videos and the reasoning behind them. It also points out this simple reality; Matsson is more than his music. To me, that’s what the whole series teaches. It teaches about nature and humanity, about listening and observing. It make me think about the interplay of light and sound. It shows me that there are vibrant color palettes right in front of me if I just take the time to see them.
“When the best song in the world has already been written, why do I write?” This first line of the video gives us a glimpse into Matsson’s creative process. He tells a great story before breaking into Joni Mitchell’s classic “Both Sides Now.” The cover is, of course, captivating. But more than anything, this exploration of art through art will pull on your soul in ways that very little else can do. The staging and composition of the image just as important as what you’re hearing. This is a simply stunning experience.
I won’t feature them all here. There’s one with a great old school piano with a truly unique sound to it. There are a few that showcase some of his newer songs that may or may not make it onto a record. It really seems like a genuine passion project, an artist making good on being himself. He mentioned in a recent video last night, denigrating his “Mr. Rogers self” in these videos, explaining that essentially he is not always happy and reflective the way he is in these videos. I doubt many of us believe he’s *always* like this. However, the fact that he is *sometimes* like this makes him a remarkable human being and someone we love to listen to.
As a sucker for horns, I was really drawn to this one “Fly in Numbers.” In fact, the layered horns seem to make Matsson’s own distinctive playing pop more than the others. I’ll go ahead and play editor’s choice on this one, but I encourage you to go back and listen to all eight songs in the series. He’s been releasing a few others lately simultaneously on YouTube and streaming platforms, so if you love him as much as I do, make a point to show some support to the music. And feel free to stop and stare; after all, he is the Tallest Man on Earth.