Matt Pond PA - Emblems

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Matt Pond PA - Emblems

Matt Pond PA is a band, not a guy, thank you very much, although the bandleader’s name—coincidentally—happens to be Matt Pond. Funny, that. But what’s less funny and more affecting is the band’s new record, Emblems, a lush, haunting collection of superbly crafted chamber pop. Pond’s sad-eyed meditations on the doomed nature of all romance is confessional but not twee, obliquely tragic but never mopey. His voice evokes a younger, less arty Peter Gabriel—a mysterious tenor with just the right balance of distance and emotional commitment. The band fills out the tracks with economy, deference and a relaxed, propulsive backbeat that moves the record forward with palpable urgency. Find Nick Drake too dimly existential? Or Rufus Wainwright too self-indulgently theatrical? Matt Pond PA just might be the honest dose of melancholy you’re looking for.

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