When people hear John Mark Nelson's music for the first time, the sense of disbelief is usually evident. With arrangements that recall songwriters who have been in the business for decades, the 18-year old — and recently graduated — Minnetonka High student is turning heads for the mature compositions he's been recording since the age of 14.
Like a younger version of Dirty Projectors' frontman David Longstreth, Nelson's attention to detail, instrumentation and lyricism feels completely plotted out but fresh and new at the same time. He's certainly one of Minnesota's most important artists to watch, especially as he prepares the release of his second album Waiting and Waiting in August.
Nelson brought in his five-piece band (comprised of high-school friends Cameron LeCrone, Nic Eggert, Grace Keating, John Cushing and Benjamin Kelly), as well as a string quartet for this radio debut. They all deserve major accolades for fostering a synergy that makes it impossible to tear your eyes away.
- John Mark Nelson