John Mark Nelson: A Teenager With Serious Talent The 19-year-old Twin Cities songwriter has an ear for whimsical melodies and ornate arrangements. Watch Nelson and his cadre of teenage friends make their debut on The Current, with "Reminisce."

Favorite Sessions

John Mark Nelson: A Teenager With Serious TalentThe Current

When people hear John Mark Nelson's music for the first time, there's often a sense of disbelief. With arrangements that recall the work of veteran songwriters, the 19-year-old Minnetonka, Minn., native has been recording sophisticated compositions since he was 14.

Like a younger version of Dirty Projectors frontman David Longstreth, Nelson possesses incredible attention to detail, with instrumentation and lyricism that feel completely plotted out, yet still fresh and new. Since the release of his album Waiting and Waiting, Nelson has sold out his album-release show, was tapped for First Avenue's Best New Bands showcase, opened the first night of The Current's birthday party and has supported a slew of national touring acts in the Twin Cities. A third album is already in the works, and he's launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its proper recording in a studio setting with fuller orchestration.

Speaking of fuller orchestration, Nelson has a string quartet join his five-piece band — high-school friends Cameron LeCrone, Nic Eggert, Grace Keating, John Cushing and Benjamin Kelly — for this, his radio debut.

Credits

  • Audio: Michael DeMark
  • Photos/Video: Nate Ryan
[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

A still from Drowse's "Klonopin" video. YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

Drowse's 'Klonopin' Soundtracks A Heavy Dose

Steeped in detuned guitars and iridescent noise, Drowse sounds like an intimate Mount Eerie home recording overdubbed with a worn-out cassette of The Cure's Disintegration.

Watch Ty Segall Perform 'Despoiler of Cadaver' Live in the Studio Davis Bell/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Davis Bell/KCRW

Ty Segall, 'Despoiler of Cadaver' (Live)

KCRW

Watch the LA rocker perform a glam-disco cut from his new album, Freedom's Goblin.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Pere Ubu On Mountain Stage

Twenty-six years after its first appearance on Mountain Stage, the eccentric rock band played songs from its latest album, 20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo.

Pere Ubu On Mountain Stage

Back To Top