Philadelphia band, Matt Pond PA creates delicate, soft-spoken music that possibly can only be described as “beautiful.” The name is pretty self-explanatory: band lead by Matt Pond, band based out of Pennsylvania. But the music doesn’t sound as simplistic as the name does. It’s very intricate, very carefully layered. Alternatively, the straightforward name couldn’t better express the honesty and purity that comes through in the music.
The band fortifies the basic framework of guitar and drums with wonderfully rich string arrangements. Cello and violin are spread like thin, sugary icing across the top. The strings are never overarching and hardly joyful, but instead slightly somber, slightly depressed. But at the same time, the inherent warmth of the strings shines through.
The lyrics paint a detailed landscape, gently setting the tone at serious, yet somber. The album is somewhat dark in tone, veering toward a perpetual state of melancholy. Yet, both the album and the lyrics evoke a very natural feel, inspiring visions of green trees cascading down the side of a hill or a lazy stroll on a forest path. Song titles like “Flying Through the Scenery” and “Green Grass” echo this mood. It’s whimsical without becoming fantastical, and nature-conscious without being environmental.
My sole complaint about this release is that it isn’t long enough. After the album’s appropriately-named closer “It’s Over” starts, I can’t help but wonder how the rest of the songs could have sped by that fast. (Doling out 11 songs in 34 minutes, especially of this complexity, is quite an accomplishment in today’s 74-minute album scene). I definitely wouldn’t say “no” an extra 15 minutes of this album. But instead of wishing for a lengthier release, I eagerly await Matt Pond PA’s follow-up to Measure. After all, I can’t imagine changing this one. It’s perfect as it is.
// Notes from the Road
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