Sings The Moon

by John Mark Nelson

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about

Two months after his high school graduation, John Mark Nelson jumped to the top of Minneapolis’ folk-pop scene with 2012‘s Waiting and Waiting, a homemade album that split the difference between Nick Drake’s quiet, stripped-back acoustics and Andrew Bird’s orchestral sweep. Two years later, he’s ready to make a bigger splash with Sings the Moon, the most detailed, collaborative album of his young career.

“We recorded in a very unique and experimental way,” says Nelson, who co-produced the album with Matt Patrick. “We would drop buckets of bolts for percussion, record guitars through walkie-talkies, and capture my voice through old, boxy guitar amps.”

Warm and welcoming, Sings the Moon conjures up images of a winter’s night spent inside a cabin, with a fire in the hearth and a soft song on the radio. Nelson, who fills the songs with autobiographical memories of his past and imagined events of his possible future, calls it “the soundtrack to a single human life.” For this folk-pop songwriter, though, the soundtrack is just beginning.

credits

released 24 June 2014

Produced by John Mark Nelson and Matt Patrick
Mixed by Matt Patrick at The Library Recording Studio
Mastered by Greg Reierson at Rare Form Mastering
Artwork and Illustration by Heather Weideman
Layout & Design by Matthew Custar

All songs written and arranged by John Mark Nelson © 2014 John Mark Nelson Music ASCAP

All songs recorded at The Library Recording Studio with the exception of “Far From Here” and "All You Are", recorded in part at First Covenant Church in Minneapolis by Matt Patrick and Bruce Balgaard

www.johnmarknelson.com

Thank you to my incredible family, dear friends, and supporters, for your unending encouragement.

Thank you to each and every Kickstarter Backer, with special thanks to Mark & Elizabeth Nelson, Lee & Bonnie Stedman, Adam & Barbra Curtis, Bill & Stephanie Naegele, Tess Hecht, Jerod T. Petersen, The Pears Family, Grant & Ryan Hedblom, Arlene Zimmerman, Steve, Sara, Sophie, and Emma Whicher, Rod and Nancy Peterson, Jerry Cerchia, Ann Nelson, Bradford Olson, Kevin & Sonia Siefering, Matt Peterson, Nancy & Jim Larson, Gary, Danise, Kellen & Krin McMillen, Jean & Grace Keating, Bryan & Krista Petersen, Matt, Desiree, Levi, Andi & Paige Nelson, Sara Nutter, Holly Woods Babbs, Elizabeth Melton, Hallur F. Danielsen, Brent Riddersen, The Stromwall Family, Scott Nelson, Jeremiah and Hannah Rempel, Nathaniel Poehlke, Gregory Niemann, Christopher A. McLean, Jason Wallestad, Sonja Saunders, Charley Barniskis, Eric Mintalar, Charlie & Sarah Eiler, Kevin Springob, Rob, Connie, Andrew & Zeke Chapin, The Zilka Family, Dan, Deb & Allison Boe, and Doug Peterson.

A very special thank you to Matt Patrick. Your artistry and integrity richly bless the lives of many.

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about

John Mark Nelson Minneapolis, Minnesota

John Mark Nelson is a 19 year old songwriter based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Raised in a musical home, playing instruments and writing songs was more of a second language than another pastime. In December, 2011 John Mark quietly released his debut album 'Still Here'. His sophomore endeavor 'Waiting and Waiting' followed in August of 2012. ... more

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Track Name: Sings The Moon
Patiently wait, for the day will be soon
Sings the Moon

All will be glad, at the sound of my tune
Sings the Moon

Beaming with light as we gaze at her face
Carefully spinning her loom

High up above, with the earth in my view
Sings the Moon
Sings the Moon
Track Name: A Place Of My Own
Early morning light shines, soon stirred from a dream
Where the shirts lay folded carefully with hands so clean
Cold winds call at the door, but get no reply
This was once a home that welcomed in the world outside
Ooh

I saw life in this home, learned love in her womb
Now I scarcely recognize the place that I once knew
Darkness hangs in the hall, kept clean by your hand
And the floorboards whisper “They no longer understand”
Ooh

You feel surrounded
So you hide upon the floor and close your eyes
A heart so far away
That leaves so many memories behind

Learned to call you by name, and look in your eye
Learned to trust you with the story of my lonesome life
Now I smile to think, what else can I do
I surrender to my longing for a love with you
Ooh

You feel surrounded
So you hide upon the floor and close your eyes
A heart so far away
That leaves so many memories behind

One last look as she stands, my shelter so true
Knowing all the laughter she will bring to someone new
May the mountain be far, and river so deep
I will raise you for the secrets you will learn to keep
Ooh
Track Name: Shorebird
I sit and stare, as you circle like snow
On the lake alone
The sound of your wing, passing on for a while
And the smile it brings, the smile it brings

Took to the sky, with a thundering roar
And I hear your cry
Leaving this land, somewhere warmer to stay
And I understand, I understand

And it seems like the winter has lasted so long
Still I know that the spring will bring us to thaw

Like the leaves you will change and fall
When the cold winds call
But it won’t be long
You’ll fly home when the winters through
And the earth is new
May the day be soon

Raising your young, on a branch you can trust
And I hold my tongue
Winter is through, and the flock has flown in
And I look for you, I look for you

Like the leaves you will change and fall
When the cold winds call
But it won’t be long
You’ll fly home when the winters through
And the earth is new
May the day be soon
Track Name: Boy
So complete and so breathe deeply for the life in which you wake
Grateful heart and helpless mind that reels with every chance you take
Dreams never take me far away, hide me from your love
Wake to call your name
And when you slow down you’ll surely say

I know blowing in the wind there’s a voice that calls my name
“Don’t fear your life boy, grow and change”
It came running through the earth where
The pine and tall grass grew
Leading me always, close to you

In the clearness of the spring, heard you calling heard you sing
“This marks the end of all that’s through, I have a better plan for you”
Still, I’m afraid of what I am, save me from my soul
You can’t make me whole
Still I find my voice and say

I know blowing in the wind there’s a voice that calls my name
“Don’t fear your life boy, grow and change”
It came running through the earth where
The pine and tall grass grew
Leading me always, close to you

For a hundred years we wait, and with every breath we take
Learn to bury our mistake
Do I lead myself towards pain?
Every song we raise in vain, every fire only flame
Raise the children now to keep, every virtue that you seek
Hoping one day they’ll receive
“We are nothing but the dust that gathers down below the plain
We’ll be gone and you’ll remain”

Now what was far away draws near, teach me to belong
I know longer fear

I know blowing in the wind there’s a voice that calls my name
“Don’t fear your life boy, grow and change”
It came running through the earth where
The pine and tall grass grew
Leading me always, close to you
Track Name: The Moon and The Stars
Now I must go to a place I do not know
Where the moon has lost its glow and the stars don’t shine no more
Safe from the cold, it’s the place where I’ll grow old
but I’m alone inside this hopeless misery
I’m alone until you set this spirit

Free, like the wind above the trees
And the waves that crash in the sea
I’ll return one day
With the light upon my face
And the moon and stars will all sing to me

You led me here as you kept my body near
And I followed you for fear that you’d vanish right before my very eyes
Silence and cold, and despite what I was told
I’m alone inside this hopeless misery
I’m alone until you set this spirit

Free, like the wind above the trees
And the waves that crash in the sea
I’ll return one day
With the light upon my face
And the moon and stars will all sing to me
Track Name: Far From Here
The coast was wild with younger hearts
that sit beneath the sun
The wind was full of calls and sounds
the song of night had sung
Ahh

A single place where we belong
Our days to pass alone
Belonging to another now
I’ll rest within the home
and I

I’ll rest when I am old
and cry when I am lost
My life will fade away

Retreating from the rising sea
and casting in a stone
A treasure found, a simple mind
that leaves when I am grown
Ahh

I’ll grow to see the damage of
Your laughter and your song
I’ll start again and find that you
were near me all along

I’ll rest when I am old
and cry when I am lost
I’ll rest when I am old
and cry when I am lost
My life will fade away
Track Name: Oh, Light Within Us!
I don’t recall the sound of your voice
but I know the day you were born
I cannot see your eyes, your smile no more

but I will learn to love you better one day
I will learn to love you more
I’ll be waiting when you call my name
I’ll be waiting at the door
Ooh

Oh, light!
Oh, light within us!
Oh, light!
Oh, light within us!

I will learn to love you better one day
I will learn to love you more
I’ll be waiting when you call my name
I’ll be waiting at the door

Ooh
Track Name: All You Are
I was a child and saw the world for all it was
in my blindness, blindness
A quiet place beneath the moon, a quiet home
and you were kindness, kindness

Now and then, to belong
and be a child again
A Heart so strong
Remember laughing when
the days were long
and summer was a never ending fire

Old friend
I was born to put my life in your hands
To be kindness
When there’s a lot about you I don’t understand
and if anyone can make me feel like I was never born
You can

I gave my heart when I was young, and in my mind
I couldn’t take it, take it
Your life is all you have, and when you gave it up
I chose to break it, break it

Oh my love, how you’ve grown
into a living thing
All your own
And when you use your wings
Leave your home
and take my longing with you when you go

Old friend
I was born to put my life in your hands
To be kindness
When there’s a lot about you I don’t understand
and if anyone can make me feel like I was never born
You can

Waiting for tomorrow made you old so young
Yesterday is over and today is done
But if you sit beneath the moon, you will hear her song
“In this tiny moment you have found where you belong”

“In this tiny moment you have found where you belong”
Track Name: Ernest
Far
Farther than any moon
There’s a cradle for the lonely

Sleep
Sleep in my open arms
I belong to you my only

Life
Living below the ground
I will go when I am called there
Track Name: Cigarettes & Postage Stamps
Summer by the water cold
but with my father I will be
and underneath the setting sun
the moon will wait patiently
Washes her memory clean

When the war is over
will you come back to the sea?
Staring at the water makes you
second guess your love for me
You can have all you need

Folding your letters and reading them over
Carefully
Cheap cigarettes, we pretend that we’re older
You and me

Hiding underneath the stairs
and waiting for the wound to mend
Hold my breath and listen
understanding that your back again
Still, I would let you in

Every now and then I stop
and struggle with a photograph
The stillness of your smile
calls to say that “there’s no turning back”
Give me the words I lack

Folding your letters and reading them over
Carefully
Cheap cigarettes, we pretend that we’re older
You and me
I will wait for your admiration again
But I don't know how
Write this letter
Tell me at least that you still know me

All I want is just a chance to run away from all that’s been done
To sit down at the table
Mind and body able
Join in the fun!

All I want is just a chance to run away from all that’s been done
To sit down at the table
Mind and body able
Join in the fun!
Join in the fun!
Join in the fun!
Track Name: Deep In The Night
Deep in the night we are waiting
Holding our breath, letting go
You take all our fears with your first cry
In a world you will soon come to know

Oh a child has a mind to discover
All the hours in the sun and the snow
When life seems a mountain yet to be climbed
A fog in a valley below

Do you ever let go of your true love
Do your scars from the war take your rest
We don’t ask for this life, it was given to us
And with it we all do our best

Deep in the night I lay waiting
Holding my breath in my lungs
No more will I shout and raise a storm
I’m fading, my time has come