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Colin J. Nelson

Colin J. Nelson was born in San Juan Capistrano, CA in 1980. Although he began singing in various choirs and opera roles from the age of eight, it wasn’t until his mid-teens that he first listened to pop music and radio in general.

Speaking of his varied influences at the time, Nelson says “Listening to electronic music in the mid to late 1990’s, I learned how layering, repetition, and changing of minimalist parts can create the structure of a song. At the same time, I learned from Schubert and Debussy how lyrics and music can play off of one another.”

Between his late teens and early twenties, he found himself making the hour drive to Los Angeles to see shows. “I was pretty rarely impressed by live shows at the time. I preferred records,” he says. “I went because it was the thing to do. I mostly appreciated when live acts didn’t attempt to play their record note for note.”

After graduating with a BA in music from USC in 2004, majoring in vocal arts performance, he continued living in Los Angeles, at which time he began writing and recording songs in his apartment. In 2006, after visiting friends living in Seattle, he decided to move there.

Colin J. Nelson’s first album, Posies and Teeth, was recorded over the course of a year, almost entirely in the basement (a.k.a. The Well Studio) of his house in Seattle.
“The arrangements were an experiment in layering parts, many of which could have been looped, but instead were played beginning to end, with small inconsistencies left in tact.”

Co-produced and accompanied by man of countless talents Jason Goessl (Obelus, Slow Skate, Sunday Evening Whiskey Club, Trimtab), the recording of Posies and Teeth marked the first time for Nelson “really collaborating” in terms of inviting others into the studio to play on his own material. He describes part of the experience as “a line to walk, specifying what they should play, yet making sure to leave room for the personality of the player to come through.”

While songs such as “Bourbon and Tea” and “Angels (Ruined My Life)” have Nelson playing all parts himself, at least half of the rest of Posies and Teeth features appearances from a variety of brilliant performers in addition to Goessl, including Bill Horist (Ghidra, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Zahir), Brian Oppel (Kled, The Resets, Trimtab), Luke Polipnick, Aaron Roethe, Caitlin Sherman (Slow Skate, Sunday Evening Whiskey Club), and Tommy Zgonc.

Colin J. Nelson’s current live band is comprised of Jason Goessl (guitar), Jack Nelson (bass guitar, backing vocals), Caitlin Sherman (keyboards, backing vocals), and Tommy Zgonc (drums).