Most heavy-hearted songs seem to be accompanied by an instrumental void to further articulate the songwriter’s emotional desolation. But that’s not how Matt Pond operates. His reflective vocals express a sentimental longing on top of complex layers of orchestral arrangements. Rays of hope seem to emanate from the golden sounds of the strings, allowing the despondency to dissipate.
Despite forming a band by the name of Matt Pond PA in Philly and eventually relocating to Brooklyn, the band’s namesake frontman made his latest releases (“The Dark Leaves,” a companion EP and three 7-inch singles) in the lonely confines of a cabin in upstate New York. “In order to do these things I have to isolate the hell out of myself,” says Pond. “The album was almost like trying to write songs to myself to get myself not to quit. It was rough. There were coyotes and bears. It wasn’t totally isolated, but it was isolated from people and in the winter, and it just hurt. But sometimes you have to go through these ridiculous motions to make an album.”
The end of the world as we know it?
The continually expanding and contracting Matt Pond PA is currently on tour as a trio.
“The fact is, these are tough times and not everybody wants to do this and be exhausted all the time,” he says, before adding a glib endnote: “But it seems the apocalypse is on its way, so why worry about the future anyway?”
If the end of the world doesn’t come soon, listeners can expect a new EP and full-length later this year.