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Live From The Current Studio

The Tallest Man on Earth performs in The Current studio

  Play Now [22:43]

by Jade and The Tallest Man on Earth

September 01, 2015

The Tallest Man on Earth - Fields of Our Home (live on 89.3 The Current)
by MPR
The Tallest Man on Earth - Little Nowhere Towns (live on 89.3 The Current)
by MPR
The Tallest Man on Earth - Singers (live on 89.3 The Current)
by MPR
The Tallest Man on Earth-1
Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth, performs in The Current studio.
MPR photo/Nate Ryan

Kristian Matsson is from Dalarna, Sweden, but he has planted deep roots in the Midwest. Better known by his stage name, The Tallest Man on Earth, Matsson's latest album, Dark Bird Is Home, was recorded alternately at Matsson's home in Sweden and at Justin Vernon's April Base studio near Eau Claire, Wis., all of it produced by Minneapolitan BJ Burton. Wherever he was, Matsson felt at home. "Wisconsin is kind of like the southern parts of Sweden and Minnesota is more like where I live," he says.

On a recent visit to Minneapolis to play a show at First Avenue, Matsson, along with drummer Zach Hanson and keyboardist Ben Lester (from Minnesota and Wisconsin, respectively), stopped by The Current for an in-studio session hosted by Jade.

Dark Bird Is Home reflects Matsson's emotions following the loss of a family member and his recent divorce. "It's a little bit strange to travel around the world and sing about stuff like that," he says. "It's an album about growing up. You figure out that these things will happen to you in your already really privileged, pretty easy, middle-class life. But you will get over it, and [there is] comfort learning that."

Although Matsson describes himself as a typically shy person who doesn't go around seeking attention, his work as a musician gives him an outlet to express himself. He knows it's a paradox but he's grown to accept it.

Another way Matsson has grown is in his attitude toward his life and his chosen profession. "I like being able to do this, but at the same time ... it's very hard to keep relationships going, to keep friendships going, and to have stability and comfort in external things. It's hard, so you really have to work on yourself. … I'm trying to make this something I could do for a long time. I lead a healthy life now."

Part of that healthy life is choosing to surround himself with good people, and Matsson sings the praises of his bandmates Lester and Hanson. "I try to find the best people I could think of to travel with," Matsson says. "It's super important. They're the best musicians ever. To have a home on the road with these dudes — I'm really lucky."

Listen to the complete interview to hear more about Matsson, including his go-to music for tough times, and his thoughts about the possibility of an all-instrumental album.

Songs Performed

"Fields of Our Home"
"Little Nowhere Towns"
All songs off The Tallest Man on Earth's 2015 album, Dark Bird Is Home, available on Dead Oceans.

Hosted by Jade
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Anthony Cadiz
Web feature by Luke Taylor