The Tallest Man on Earth

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For a list of the tallest people on earth, see List of tallest people.
The Tallest Man on Earth
The Tallest Man on Earth - 20100522.jpg
Background information
Birth name Saras Per Kristian Matsson
Born (1983-04-30) 30 April 1983 (age 31)
Origin Leksand, Dalarna, Sweden
Genres Folk
Years active 2006–present
Labels Gravitation, Dead Oceans
Associated acts Montezumas, Bon Iver, Strand of Oaks, Idiot Wind

Kristian Matsson (born April 30, 1983) is a singer-songwriter from Dalarna, Sweden. Since 2006, he has released three full-length albums and two EPs. He performs under the stage name The Tallest Man on Earth. He is known for recording and producing his own records in whichever home he is currently living and states that the connection between his voice and guitar is so strong, he rarely records them as separately tracked performances.[1] He is also known both by critics and his fans for his charismatic stage presence.[2][3] Matsson is married to fellow Swedish singer-songwriter Amanda Hollingby Matsson, who performs under the name of Idiot Wind. The couple have toured extensively together, often performing songs together on stage. He has toured with Bon Iver.[4]

Musical style[edit]

Critics have compared The Tallest Man on Earth to Bob Dylan both in terms of songwriting ability and vocal style.[5][6][7] When asked about his lyrical style, Matsson explains that he began listening to Bob Dylan at fifteen, and upon hearing Dylan's cover material, he "tried to figure out where those songs came from" and became slowly exposed to early American folk, such as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. But he is careful to qualify this, saying "I don't consider my work to be a part of any tradition. This is how I play. This is how I write songs"[4]

With regards to his guitar technique, Matsson uses a variety of open tunings, and standard tuning to a lesser degree. He had classical guitar training in his youth, but says he "never really focused on it" and that by the end of high school he "got bored playing guitar because it was like math",[8] until he then discovered open tunings while listening to Nick Drake in his early twenties. He was drawn to this style of playing because it allowed him to focus on singing while still performing intricate music.[9]


Matsson performing at Bonnaroo on June 15, 2013

Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions, sales, and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions

Shallow Grave
The Wild Hunt
  • Released: 13 April 2010
  • Label: Dead Oceans
  • Formats: CD, download,lp
38 82 176
There's No Leaving Now[16]
  • Released : 11 June 2012
  • Label: Dead Oceans, Gravitation
  • Formats: CD, LP, download
14 74 37 110 40 35



  • "The Gardener"
  • "The King of Spain"
  • "The Wild Hunt"
  • "Pistol Dreams"
  • "The Dreamer"
  • "Weather of a Killing Kind"
  • "1904"


  1. ^ "The Tallest Man On Earth interview - Kristian Matsson (part 4)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  2. ^ "The Tallest Man On Earth Austin « Flipside Sounds". 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  3. ^ Steinborn, Derek (2011-02-03). "Artist Spotlight: The Tallest Man On Earth". The Midwest Man. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  4. ^ a b "The Tallest Man On Earth interview - Kristian Matsson (part 1)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  5. ^ Pareles, Jon (10 December 2008). "Two Variations on an Acoustic Theme". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  6. ^ O'Neil, Luke (4 October 2010). "Tallest Man on Earth is a player with range". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Gill, Andy (9 April 2010). "Album: The Tallest Man On Earth, The Wild Hunt (Dead Oceans)". The Independent. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "The Tallest Man On Earth interview - Kristian Matsson (part 3)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  9. ^ "The Tallest Man On Earth interview - Kristian Matsson (part 2)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  10. ^ "Swedish Charts - The Tallest Man on Earth - Albums". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Charts Vlaanderen - The Tallest Man on Earth - Albums" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Albums : Top 100". Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "French Charts - The Tallest Man on Earth - Albums". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Dutch Charts - The Tallest Man on Earth - Albums" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Tallest Man on Earth Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Pre-order The Tallest Man On Earth’s "There’s No Leaving Now," New Single Available for Free Download News". Dead Oceans. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 

External links[edit]