Kirsten O'Brien/The AS Review
The aspiring, so-called “King of Spain,” Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson, more aptly known as The Tallest Man on Earth, will be bringing his talents to Western on Saturday, April 23 during a sold-out show in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.
Matsson has released three albums since 2006 under the Tallest Man moniker. The “King of Spain” reference comes from a track off of his 2010 album, “The Wild Hunt.” The song also excellently captures Matsson as a musician: earnest lyrics, some serious banjo playing and a rustic, gravelly voice that has drawn comparisons to Bob Dylan.
Matsson’s music has an almost dreamy quality to it. Many of his tracks, particularly those from his 2008 “Shallow Grave” album, focus on scenery, nature and general escape from a busy and modernized world. On the song “I Won’t be Found,” Matsson sings poetically, “Well if I ever see the morning/Just like a lizard in the spring/I’m going to run out in the meadow/To catch the silence when it sings/I’m going to force the Serengeti/To disappear into my eyes.” His lyrics seem to conjure up some kind of untouched world far away from our own, where people have both the time and the desire to “catch the silence,” as Matsson says. Matsson envisions a world without buildings, roads and bridges; his music transports the listener to simpler times.
Tallest Man songs are both therapeutic and brimming with energy. For some, his nasally voice may be hard to swallow, but for others, it simply adds to his charm. Matsson’s “The Wild Hunt” album was ranked 16th out of the top 100 albums of 2010, as chosen by listeners of National Public Radio’s “All Songs Considered.”
His album even ranked higher than Bob Dylan’s latest album, which was ranked 52nd. When your music is ranked higher than that of the songwriting legend you’ve been compared to, you know you have something going for you.
The Tallest Man on Earth will not disappoint.
The Tallest Man on Earth is brought to you by ASP Pop Music, which is part of AS Productions. The ASP office is located in Viking Union 422. More information can be found at asp.as.wwu.edu. To learn more about Tallest Man, you can visit www.thetallestmanonearth.com or check him out on MySpace at myspace.com/thetallestmanonearth.