July 13, 2011 The Tallest Man on Earth – Weather of A Killing Kind
It amazed me when I realized that I haven’t posted about The Tallest Man on Earth before. The Tallest Man On Earth is the moniker of Kristian Mattson, a Swedish songwriter, who is not actually that tall(If I recall correctly, he is actually on the smaller side). When most people hear Mattson’s music for the first time, Bob Dylan’s similar wailing vocals come to mind. I’m not necessarily sure if that comparison does The Tallest Man on Earth justice, but a comparison to Dylan, in my mind at least, is not a bad thing. Mattson’s songwriting is definitely on par with Dylan’s. The Tallest Man on Earth’s lyrics are simply amazing. Here’s the opening verse from the song, “Troubles Will Be Gone” off his 2010 album The Wild Hunt, an amazing album.
Oh, when it’s god I see in headlights kneeling down on frozen highways
And salvation in white knuckles on a wheel
And the deer is in the audience by the border of the darkness
where forgiveness grows and slowly winds away
The imagery that he conjures is what does it for me. I know some people who can’t tolerate his falsettos and psuedo-whining vocal style, but I think it’s something which definitely takes some time to grow on you. Mattson accompanies his vocals on the acoustic guitar mainly, but banjo and piano are also featured on some of his albums. His folk strumming and style on the guitar is a perfect match for his singing. When using the Dylan comparison I mentioned above to introduce friends to his music, I like to say that although Dylan may edge out The Tallest Man on Earth with regards to lyrics (both write amazing music though), Mattson’s instrumentation outshines most of Dylan’s playing.
The Tallest Man on Earth has released two studio albums so far entitled Shallow Grave (2008) and The Wild Hunt (2010). I love both albums personally and think they are both amazing releases. I’ve not yet listened to his self-titled 2006 EP, but his 2010 EP Sometimes the Blues is Just A Passing Bird. Adult Swim actually just released a new song of his entitled “Weather of A Killing Kind” as part of their Adult Swim Singles Program. I’ve posted it below as well as one of my favorite Tallest Man on Earth videos. If you like what you hear/see below, check out his music online (he has a bunch of concerts and recordings on youtube and NPR’s site).
-Jon The Wolf