Artist: John Mark Nelson
Album: I’m Not Afraid
Release Date: September 11
By: Brooke Adams
John Mark Nelson’s most recent album feels like rich melted chocolate flowing into your mind and making a cozy little home. His use of deep guitar tones makes the album an incredibly smooth listen, each song melting into the next. At first listen, I couldn’t always tell which song was which, but as I grew more accustomed to Nelson’s style, I began to recognize the different moods of each song.
The first track off the ten song album, “After All I’ve Done,” has an extremely unique intro: a sound byte of a busy room that quickly fades to Nelson’s narrative-like song. It’s pretty unusual for an artist to take this type of risk, especially on the first song of an album, as that is the first thing a listener will hear. The track is clearly about a man and his love trying to tune out the rest of the world as he professes his newfound love for her; an idea further proved by his risky intro. The album continues to flow from one song into the next. The second track on the album, “Dream Last Night,” has been getting lots of rotation from music sources like NPR. The upbeat guitar chords and synth tunes make it a catchy, perfect-for-radio song. Nelson veers from his normally lyric-driven songs and heads straight into the world of instrumental heavy tones. “Hole In Our Skin!” is a great representation of his new style with heavy guitar accents and a very distinct use of pauses in the music. Nelson’s previous two album have had much heavier folk influences than the smooth sounds presented in this album.
John Mark Nelson is doing a small round of shows in the midwest so check out his website for information and give the first single of Nelson’s album, Dream Last Night, a listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm41h4YCSHg.