Andy Nelson is a singer-songwriter from Bathurst, in the central west of New South Wales. Earlier this year he released his debut album, Man on the Mountain, which followed his debut, self-titled EP and appearances at festivals such as the National Folk Festival, The End Festival, Inland Sea of Sounds, Festival of Small Halls, Gympie Music Muster and Majors Creek Music Festival.
‘Late Night Letter’ is the second single from the album and it takes about three bars to establish that it’s likely to be devastating and unforgettable, and so it proves. The song tells the story of an adolescent boy growing up in small regional community where there was once a thriving industry that provided work and security. But – as happens all over the world – the work ends, or the industry moves elsewhere, and the people who relied on it are left behind because they can’t or are unwilling to move with the industry. (If you’re interested in an Australian perspective on this, I recommend The Death of Holden by Royce Kurmelovs.)
This is sparse instrumentation on this track, as befits the subject matter, and it’s incredibly effective, while Nelson honours the story and his lyrics with his delivery. For those who haven’t yet listened to Man on the Mountain, ‘Late Night Letter’ will provide the persuasive reason to do so immediately.