The video for John Mark Nelson’s lovely, spiraling “Boy” unfolds like a short mystery. Two men meet at a spot that seems pre-determined. There’s clearly some kind of tension between them, but the source of that tension is shadowy. One of them smokes and has dyed red hair; the other is dressed like an outdoorsman, in a flannel shirt and wool cap. The two disappear into the woods together, and the nature of their relationship — and the purpose of their journey — becomes more elusive. As the video goes on, the bond between them grows until the video’s final shot, when the devastating reason for their trip is revealed.
Nelson’s song provides the perfect soundtrack: it’s gorgeous and gentle, like Sufjan Stevens without the wearying pretension. A rousing, moving and emotional folk ballad, it is as full of heart as it is melody.
[Listen to John Mark Nelson Sings the Moon on Bandcamp]