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Mark K. Nelson’s latest offering as Pan American is a return to his musical and spiritual beginnings. After decades of mining post-rock pathways and latticework electronics in Labradford and early Pan American, Nelson released A Son in 2019 − spare, subdued, and largely acoustic.
Motivated by notions of “moving backward” and tracing roots the A Son album’s nine songs emphasize uncluttered arrangements. The centrality of the guitar and vocals reveal these songs as the most direct and emotional statement of his career.
Nelson cites everything from June Tabor, The Carter Family, Suicide and Jimmy Reed as oblique inspirations, though his truest muse was creative self-inquiry: “What does music do? Where does music start? How simple can it be? How honest can it be?”