Day 11: Tiny Desk Concerts and The Tallest Man on Earth

I want to take a second to acknowledge the fact that this like the 4th or 5th post directly related to music, partially because I want to make you think “Wow, I love how self-aware this blogger is” and mainly because I think that shows how important music is to me.

Anyways, I’ve recently been listening to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concerts, where NPR Music invites a singer or band to their office to perform a quick, three song set in front of the employees. The video of this set is put uploaded to the NPR Music Youtube Channel. A lot of times, live performances are very, very different from studio versions. I find that it’s much easier to connect to the artists in live performances, especially when they are crystal clear and not blocked out by screaming fans. Emotions are clearer in the imperfections in voices that studio recordings seems to avoid. Nothing showcases how different live performances can be than T-Pain’s Tiny Desk Concert, which is notable for his lack of autotune and surprising strong voice. The combination caused the video to became extremely popular everywhere.

On the other hand, some people sound nearly the same live and recorded in the studio, such as my favorite folk singer The Tallest Man on Earth. The Swedish singer’s real name is Kristian Matsson and records all of his music in his home in a rural part of his homeland, creating this live-feeling in all of his records. His Bob Dylan-esque voice is never without his guitar. This is for good reason, as he states that his guitar and voice are deeply connected and plays it expertly, plucking individual strings while using a fingerpick. The Tallest Man on Earth stands unique in a sea of folk artists with the lyrical intricacy of his songs written in his second language (first being Swedish) and level of warmth in his music. The folk genre is meant to harken back to older styles of music and evoke memories through traditional tones. Many artists are able to attain this, but The Tallest Man on Earth brings it to another level.

Yet, my interest in the Tallest Man on Earth doesn’t start and stop at just his music. Kristian also has an impeccable sense of style, filled with clothes that are reminiscent of his rural upbringing while still staying modern. Furthermore, the way that he interviews is very unique. Some may think of it as somewhat disrespectful, but he is very frugal with his words when asked questions, always very calm, reserved and quiet in his responses. The contrast between his powerful singing voice in performance and quiet speaking voice is extremely intriguing. As a naturally quiet person, finding a way to express myself that gives me a loud voice like performance gives Kristian would be so cool.

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