Philadelphia's Matt Pond PA, a quintet led by Matt Pond
(guitarist Josh Kramer, cellist Jim Hostetter, violinist Rosie McNamara-Jones,
drummer Sean Byrne), plays generally slow and melancholy chamber pop.
Deer Apartments (1998) and especially Measure (2000), that
contains Flying Through the Scenery, defined Pond's aesthetic: not
so much the melody but the overall ambience.
The five-song EP I Thought You Were Sleeping (2001), featuring
Rachael Dietkus (violin) and Julia Rivers (French horn), was a transitional
work that seemed to point towards a more lively style.
Pond reformed the band with Hostetter, Mike Kennedy (drums), Matt Raisch (bass), Jim Kehoe (guitar) and Eve Miller (cello) for
The Green Fury (2002) and The Nature of Maps (2002),
but the concept remained the same, and the material was still uneven at best,
particularly on the latter.
The trivial pop muzak of Emblems (2004)
was only partially redeemed by
Several Arrows Later (Altitude, 2005).
Last Light (2007) boasts the sprightly Basement Parties but mostly
indulges in the usual set of ballads, the least tedious being
Taught to Look Away
(a duet with Neko Case).
There is nothing left to redeem the shallow songs of
The Dark Leaves (2010). By comparison, even Brit-pop is creative and fun.
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