If music has any power left in it (of course it does, surely it does), it won’t be found in detailed discussions of the music industry’s descent into obscurity. We talk about music like we can trade it for chips in Vegas, and not like it lives and breathes and pulses and babies know about it the moment they’re born.
And while you will have to pry my iPod from my cold, dead hands, curved perpetually to its scroll-wheeled demands, music is still best experienced live, which is where The Tallest Man on Earth, aka Kristian Mattson, takes his music and drives it directly, unerringly, into your soul.
Mattson is the kind of artist so in love with his audience that he’ll play a free set to people who bought his album literally minutes before he’s meant to take the stage for a paid show. It’s one thing to render judgment of music as it comes through a set of headphones, quite another when you’re faced with Mattson’s profusely sweating brow as he almost melts in Rough Trade’s stale, unmoving air.
Recorded live at Rough Trade East, Brick Lane, London, 2012.