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Playing spare but tuneful indie folk enlivened by his sometimes craggy, always passionate vocals and poetic lyrics, the Tallest Man on Earth is the stage name of Swedish singer and songwriter Kristian Matsson. Born in Dalarna, Sweden in 1983, Matsson first broke into music as a member of the group Montezumas, but in 2006, influenced by rootsy Swedish artists such as Thomas Denver Jonsson and Homesick Hank, he struck out on his own as the Tallest Man on Earth, releasing a self-titled five-song EP of elemental acoustic songs with just his guitar for accompaniment on the Swedish label Gravitation.
The EP and the follow-up single, “Pistol Dreams,” received positive reviews, and in 2008, Matsson released his first album as the Tallest Man on Earth, Shallow Grave, which was released in the United States by the boutique indie label Mexican Summer. Matsson toured extensively in support of Shallow Grave, including several dates opening for Bon Iver and John Vanderslice, and in 2010 he released his second album, The Wild Hunt, which was his first project for Dead Oceans Records. Before the year was out, a five-song TMOE EP appeared, Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird, which marked Matsson‘s first recordings with an electric guitar.
In 2012, he released There’s No Leaving Now, which found him adding a few more layers to the album’s production, and 2015’s Dark Bird Is Home proved to be his most ambitious project to date, incorporating a full band on several cuts as well as electronic loops, horns, backing vocalists, and a spacious, atmospheric studio sound.
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