Beaver Nelson : Macro/Micro

Written by Brent Treash

August 22, 2012

Beaver Nelson is a different kind of Texas singer-songwriter. The Houston-raised, Austin-based Nelson has  erases the line between troubadour and rocker in a long-lost, classic style.

With Macro/Micro, his seventh release, Nelson delivers a flowing album with one song melting into the next, albeit with each holding its own distinctive tone. Accompanied by a group of accomplished musicians – Scrappy Jud Newcomb (stringed instruments and more), percussionists/drummers Mark Patterson and Stephen Belans, Matt Eskey (bass), Nick Connolly (piano, organ) and Buzz McKenzie (whistling) – Nelson (guitar, piano, vocals) creates a complex, heavily textured song cycle.

Though there’s a lot going on in most of the Nelson-penned songs, the lyrics still rise to the top. “We’ll Be Here When You Need Us,” “Natural Man Does Not Exist,” “Your Subconscious Does the Dirty Work,” and “Love for the Pain” are as much about the message as the music. You can’t escape the clever language Nelson uses to prod and challenge the careful listener.

As if this journey needs a visual guide, Macro/Micro is accompanied by a album-length film. Nelson will be touring in support of the album with a projector in tow, performing the entire affair from start to finish. It might well be sensory overload, but I have a feeling that’s exactly what he expects.

Macro/Micro is out now.