A lot has happened in the twenty years since singer-songwriter Matt Pond debuted his eponymous indie pop project, Matt Pond PA. He put out several beloved releases on Polyvinyl Records. He moved from Philly to New York, as musicians in the aughties were wont to do. He covered “Champagne Supernova” for The OC, and did it with the utmost sincerity, and it was beautiful. He toyed with changing his band name, then kept it, then officially retired it last year. He released twelve LPs and innumerable EPs, free singles, one-offs and other assorted ephemera.
But on his new song, “The Scope and Span of Pennsylvania,” there’s a lyric that seems to suggest a constant force through all the change: “There will always be deer in the headlights, staring at the frozen pavement, waiting for love.”
is Pond talking about backlit neon sign photo on the Deer Apartments LP cover, bathed in Instagram tones and textures even though its an honest-to-god 120 color film photograph that predated Instagram by a decade? Is he talking about a deer he encountered on a cold, late-night drive through new England? Is it all metaphor upon metaphor?
I’m unsure, but I do know that the song — a collaboration with Chris Hansen, Sean Hansen, Dan Coutant, and Teal Hutton, with Chicago singer-songwriter Gia Margaret assisting on vocals (Pond absolutely swoons over her Ordinal Records release There’s Always Glimmer) — is another elegant stunner, characteristic of Pond, where guitars fervently strum and sleigh bells chime and keyboard textures bob and weave and build into a lovely expanse. Continue reading →