Heartache is the loneliest place. If you could translate it into a geographic location, I think it would be a lonesome, desolate, monochrome dot devoid of friends and laughter and laden with despair. Like a desert, or an arctic tundra, or a buoy in the middle of the ocean. So I imagine Sweden, with its long winters and northern latitudes, might not be far from a physical manifestation of the feeling, in which I’ve been immersed nonstop for the past five days. Parts of Scandinavia, the region to which Sweden belongs, lie to the north of the Arctic Circle and boast several natural phenomena. For example, during summer, the sun never sets some days, but the opposite occurs during winter, resulting in unending darkness for the corresponding period, which is known as Polar Night. And since my lover left me, it seems as though the curtains of night have fallen on the stage of my heart and might never lift.
The Tallest Man on Earth, however, is not the man that just stopped loving me, although that man was very tall. He is Kristian Matsson, he’s only 5’9,” and he hails from a town I’ve never heard of in the middle of Sweden. Like his previous LP, Shallow Grave, and his five-song EP, Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird, that followed his latest album, The Wild Hunt, just five months after its release, the recordings are sparse but do not suffer for their simplicity. Just Matsson’s voice and his guitar, which features masterful and delicate finger-picking and eloquent lyrics, his folksy style understandably draws constant comparisons to Bob Dylan. I’ll try to think of my blues as just a passing bird, or as a sparrow, perhaps while I watch The Tallest Man on Earth play at The Fillmore tonight.
Who: The Tallest Man on Earth
What: The Wild Hunt
Where: Dalarna, Sweden
Why: “And now spikes will keep on falling from the heavens to the floor / The future was our skin and now we don’t dream anymore”
How: Dead Oceans