April 30 is a special day in music, more specifically folk, because it’s the birthday of two music geniuses—Justin Vernon and Kristian Matsson of Bon Iver and Tallest Man on Earth, respectively. They are two years apart and are from different countries, and yet they have a brotherly love for each other much like twins would. These guys are very special to my heart, and are for many others as well. Not only do they continue to impress me with every new song, new album, or new project, but they soothe away any negative emotion I am feeling. If you knew me freshman or sophomore year in college, then you knew how obsessed I was with these two. But in reality, they brought me out of a serous rut and inspired me to keep pushing on—just with their sound. Justin and Kristian have never recorded a song together, unfortunately, but they toured together one year.
Kristian Matsson is a singer/songwriter from Sweden with a small physique but booming talent. He is best known by his stage name The Tallest Man On Earth and is married to the lady behind Idiot Wind. Kristian has a very particular sound apart from his guitar playing because he is said to bring to mind Bob Dylan. He mostly sticks to his music but every now and then he dabbles in covers or duets.
Justin Vernon, on the other hand, is someone I can talk about FOREVER. I know so much about him that it’s borderline stalker-ish—yes, I even know where he lives, but that’s besides the point. Justin’s resume is absolutely endless—from self-written songs, to collaborations, to being sampled by big time rappers, to associated acts, to a long list of projects, to helping produce other artists’ albums. He is so wrapped up in music that he becomes music himself… if that makes sense? I mean the guy is associated with at LEAST 10 different bands! But he is most well known for being the leading legend behind Bon Iver. His vocal range can go from falsetto to bass in a hot second. His sound jumps from depressingly beautiful, to soothing, to bluesy, to just plain badass. When listening to his songs you feel every emotion he puts out and it’s breathtaking every time.
And so with that praise, in a couple days I would like to say happy birthday to the two greatest men that have ever graced my ears and my heart.
Happy Birthday Justin Vernon and Kristian Matsson!
The Tallest Man on Earth—“Wind and Walls”
The Shouting Matches—“Gallup, NM”
The Tallest Man on Earth & Idiot Wind—“Working Titles”
DeYarmond Edison—“Dusty Road (So Kind)”
Bon Iver—“I Can’t Make You Love Me/Nick of Time”
The Tallest Man on Earth—“Dancing In the Moonlight”
The Tallest Man on Earth—“The Gardener”
Kanye West—“Lost In The World ft. Bon Iver”
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