[25 January 2012]
Hollow Ponds is a beautiful little album about love. This in and of itself is not extraordinary; what is extraordinary is that it is about the part of love that follows the romance; the part where you’re making plans, finding routine, and wondering about the future. It is strongest in its insecure moments like the sublime “Better, Still” (“I remember leaving school, thinking I could take my time / And for 10 short years, staying in that frame of mind”) and “Goodbye” (“Give me this goodbye / And I’ll be back again”). Generally, though, it’s an album with a sort of self-assuredness, almost a contentedness, that makes it very easy to warm up to, if not necessarily be terribly moved by. Unfortunately, most of the songs evoke other artists and albums—Damien Rice, The Decemberists, and Once come immediately to mind—so it won’t win anyone over with originality. Still, as far as acoustic singer-songwriter sorts of albums go, this is a lovely one with a mature outlook and an around-the-campfire intimacy. Hollow Ponds is a pastoral still life, albeit one with just a little bit of mystery at its borders.