The Tallest Man on Earth Talks with Field Medic on the Talkhouse Podcast

"Were you the guy who gave me a bunch of weed?"

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a pair of singer-songwriters who’ve taken interesting names for what are essentially solo ventures: Kevin Sullivan, aka. Field Medic, and Kristian Matsson, better known as the Tallest Man on Earth

Matsson has been making music as the Tallest Man since about 2006, winning fans both with his largely spare, Bob Dylan-like songs and his incredibly forceful live shows. Though he’s from Sweden, Matsson is definitely influenced by the American folk tradition, especially on his early records, like the classic 2008 debut Shallow Grave. He’s since released a handful of excellent albums, and in this conversation with Kevin Sullivan, he drops some hints about a new one that he’s really excited about to be released in 2023. In the meantime, the Tallest Man on Earth just released his first all-covers album, and though he downplays it a little bit, it’s pretty amazing. It’s called Too Late for Edelweiss, and on it he covers songs written by everyone from Hank Williams to Bon Iver to the National.

Kevin Patrick Sullivan, who records under the name Field Medic, has long been known for a pretty Spartan approach to recording: Most of his songs have been made super simply, in the folk tradition but with decidedly modern subject matter. For his upcoming fifth album, which has the deliciously long title grow your hair long if you’re wanting to see something that you can change, Sullivan decided to grow his sonic palette and bring in a producer. His confessional, put–it-all-out-there lyrics are still fully intact, of course. Field Medic will take these songs out for a headlining tour that features a full band this fall—a first for Sullivan. Check out the latest single from the new album, called “I Think About You All The Time.”

This is a fun conversation given that these guys don’t know each other, but they’re quick to connect. Tallest Man was clearly an influence on Field Medic’s sound, and we get to hear about a long-ago fan interaction between the two that did not, I repeat did not, involve marijuana. They also chat about finding inspiration when it’s gone missing, about the wonder of the Milli Vanilli story, and about which of them wanted to be Bob Dylan in high school, and which wanted to be Lou Reed. Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast and thanks to Kevin Sullivan and Kristian Matsson for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform and social media channel. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Feature Image Credit: left, Shervin Lainez; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)

Talkhouse curates musicians, actors, filmmakers, and others in their respective fields to speak one-on-one with their peers via the Talkhouse Podcast and Talkhouse Live events. The Talkhouse Podcast offers listeners a unique insight into the creative work of creators across all genres and generations. Subscribe now to stay in the loop on future episodes.