For years, Matt Pond has been making beautiful power-pop under the name “Matt Pond PA”, and sometimes just his own (stateless) name. Last year, he and longtime collaborator Chris Hansen formed a new band, The Natural Lines. The self-titled debut has Pond’s particularly great brand of beauty and hope.
While there are some quiet, introspective numbers on The Natural Lines such as closer “Mahwah” (one of the most beautiful songs ever about New Jersey…), the album really shines when Pond leans away from the classic ‘bedroom indie singer/songwriter’ and into his emotional power-pop hope, such as “Monotony”, “My Answer”, and “A Scene That Will Never Die”. “No More Tragedies” (QRO review) has both Pond’s intimate and expansive call for life.
Like the should-have-been success of power-pop in the seventies, hope in music has struggled to shine amid all the sad songs, but we need both, like with The Natural Lines.