Swedish songwriter Kristian Matsson towers above his contemporaries as one of today’s most humbling and evocative songwriters. Known to the world as The Tallest Man On Earth, he takes the modest folk tradition of Dylan and Guthrie as groundwork and builds upon it an intricate, personal mythology: dense stories gleaned from history, narrative and lived experience.
This will mark Matsson’s first visit to Australia since 2013, when he sold out the Sydney Opera House and gracefully plucked heartstrings nationwide with his intimate solo show. Here he returns with a stunning five-piece band, offering a richer and more resonant side of his songcraft than ever witnessed before.
Shouldering universal acclaim from his 2015 album Dark Bird Is Home, The Tallest Man On Earth promises to make his presence felt through fans’ every hair and fibre when he brings his soul-searching live show to QPAC this December.
“A performance worthy of his stage name.” NPR
“The Tallest Man on Earth has reached a new pinnacle.” Pop Matters
“A tall order of a live show.” The Village Voice
“The bleeding edge between performer and audience is where he lives ... we were right there with him.” The Music
“The songs are just sublime.” triple j
Support Act: Gordi
The Tallest Man on Earth is an all ages event.
8:50pm The Tallest Man on Earth
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Presented by QPAC in association with Handsome Tours
Tallest Man on Earth Support Act
Where is this generation's “In Your Eyes”? Our “Come Talk To Me”? That song to blast as we passionately, earnestly raise the boombox high over our heads outside our beloved’s window at twilight. It’s been a while since we had one of those songs – something expansive and elegant; big-pop that feels as personal and tender. Let us humbly offer the music of Sydney’s Gordi – 23-year-old Sophie Payten. Her debut EP, Clever Disguise gets at it both ways – massive and personal music that doesn’t concede an inch of artistic vision.
Raised in the small, farming community of Canowindra in Australia’s New South Wales, amongst a minuscule population of 2,381, Payten learned to play piano and guitar in her house – with on near-constant rotation. She left the rural life in her late-teens to pursue a medical education in Sydney alongside her musical career. The dichotomy of those environments – the pastoral and the modern – is surely a guiding influence in Gordi’s music. Earthy, wistful folk songs are cloaked in delicate-but-bold electronic production. And what an effortlessly flooring voice to carry it all, at once fractured and brimming with richness. These are songs you could hear bouncing through the alleyways of the city as much as you could hear them rolling across the fields. Fans in Payten’s native Australia have already been treated to a number of these magical musical moments courtesy of consistent rotation on triple j and FBi Radio, including nominations for a triple J J Award and 2 FBi SMAC Awards in 2015, on top of being named triple j Unearthed’s most played artist during 2015.
The single, “Can We Work It Out” has the big, worldly drums of those aforementioned Peter Gabriel classics and a towering, multi-layered vocal chorus that will instantaneously sear itself into your musical memory. The soft gallop and airy melody of EP opener “Nothing’s As It Seems” feels like the bittersweet sunset of a four-day weekend on the water. “So Here We Are”, a heartbreaking lo-fi piano and vocoder-led ballad. While the instrumentally lush “Wanting” submerges you in a joyous sonic landscape, a bold aesthetic for a tale of longing and reconciliation.
Moments in the EP may recall the early albums of Beth Orton, but more storming and redesigned for the stadiums, festivals and amphitheatres of the 21st Century. Staking that claim, Gordi is already sharing stages with contemporaries like Of Monsters And Men, Bon Iver, Highasakite, The Tallest Man On Earth and more. Clever Disguise was created with Melbourne producer Ben McCarthy with additional production by Alex Somers (Sigur Ros) and Francois Tetaz (Gotye). And if it’s merely an aperitif for what Gordi has coming up, we’re in for a magnificent show.