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The Tallest Man on Earth will debut his new album in Durham before the world hears it

Kristian Matsson is a Swedish singer-songwriter who stands out — and not just because his stage name is The Tallest Man on Earth.

Matsson will perform April 17 at the Carolina Theatre, two days before “I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream” comes out.

We talked to the 35-year-old singer by phone before the show.

1. Let’s get this out of the way. Matsson is 5’7.”

2. He is a classically trained musician. “I don’t think I appreciated it when I was in high school but I’m thankful for my teachers,” Matsson says from New York. “It helped learning how to play classical and jazz guitar.”

3. The album “Dark Bird is Home” tackles the tough topic of divorce, but Matsson said the situation with his wife, singer Amanda Bergman, proved to provide fodder for his music. “It’s interesting what happens when you go through a horrible situation,” Matsson says. “A lot of great music was written when someone was going through a difficult period.”

4. “I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream,” Matsson’s latest album, will drop April 19 and will be previewed at the Carolina Theatre.” Matsson wrote, produced and engineered the album, his first album in four years. “I try to move forward with every album,” Matsson says. “I never want to repeat what I’ve already done.”

5. Matsson is and always has been a huge music fan. His range is from Mississippi John Hurt to Brian Eno to Fleetwood Mac. “It’s not about genre,” Matsson says. “But that’s not just a personal thing. I think that’s just how it goes in Europe.”

6. Don’t ask Matsson, who hails from Dalarna, Sweden, about the Bob Dylan comparisons, which have been made repeatedly since he emerged from Europe.

“That used to put me over the edge,” Matsson says. “It’s not like I ever set out to write a certain way. But I guess it’s a compliment since so many singer-songwriters I admire were compared to Dylan.”

That includes Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and plenty of other accomplished artists.

7. Matsson became a huge folk aficionado after learning who influenced Dylan when he was a teenager. “That’s how I found out about people like Pete Seeger,” Matsson says. “Dylan opened the door for my discoveries.”

8. The version of Matsson onstage is quite different from his life, so his performances can be surprisingly intense. “I feel free up there,” Matsson says. “I can do things on the stage I can’t do at home.”

9. Matsson still spends time where he grew up. “It’s beautiful there,” Matsson says. “I like nature. It’s rural and different from where I go when I’m on tour. It’s inspiring.”


Who: The Tallest Man on Earth

When: April 17, 8 p.m.

Where: Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham.

Tickets: $27.58

Info: 919-560-3030 or

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