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Taking a Dip in Matt’s Pond

Marissa Frobes | Friday, April 16, 2010

The band matt pond PA will perform Saturday at Legends, in the midst of a tour with artists like Ben Folds, Bobby Long and Wintersleep.

The Indie band formed in 1998 in Philadelphia retains only one original member, who gives the band its name: Matt Pond. More than 15 artists have been a part of the group, but the current cast includes Pond, Chris Hansen, Leslie Sisson, George Souleidis and Brad Gunyon. It seems the band changes to match Pond’s whims at any given time.

The original quintet released its first album, “Deer Apartments,” in 1998, and initially gained recognition from CDNOW’s competition “Unheard?” for unsigned artists. The follow-up album “Measure” debuted in 2000 and “garnered comparisons to the stripped-down versions of The Cure,” All Music Guide’s Jason Ankeny said.

As the band constantly changed members, more albums and EPs were released: “I Thought You Were Sleeping EP” (2001), “The Green Fury” (2002) and “The Nature of Maps” (2002).

Gaining more attention throughout the next couple of years, matt pond PA toured with artists such as Keane, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Liz Phair and Guster. More music ensued simultaneously, including “Emblems” (2004), “Several Arrows Later” (2005), “Winter Songs EP” (2005) and “Last Light” (2007).

This band’s impressive discography proves how serious it is about its art. Matt Pond, on the blog on his official Web site, once scoffed, “sleep … as if that were possible.”
matt pond PA is also extremely gracious to their fans. In November 2008, they posted “The Freeep” as a free download on their website for 10 months. It was later re-released as “Auri Sacra Fames” on iTunes and Amazon MP3.

A few other limited edition EPs have been released since 2008 along with the band’s latest album, “The Dark Leaves,” which dropped April 13. Props to Legends for reeling the band in only four days after its most recent debut.

The album has reaped pretty indifferent reviews so far. David Peisner of Spin magazine characterizes some songs as having “a genuinely comforting warmth” but admits that the album overall appeals to “mildly depressed, post-collegiate junior copywriters with cool haircuts.” Not exactly five stars, but not a complete roast of the music either.

matt pond PA is a big name for Legends, and it will be interesting to see what the band chooses to perform on Saturday. With a massive amount of music to its name, the band will surely promote its new album, but might hark back to some of its earlier hits as well.

Contact Marissa Frobes at [email protected]