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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Singer/songwriter finds inspiration in Big Apple

    The city that never sleeps is host to just about every type of person one can imagine. After growing up in New Hampshire, singer/songwriter Matt Pond finds the atmosphere of New York enthralling.

    “”It’s definitely got an energy that’s nowhere else,”” Pond said. “”We see the entire country constantly. There are a lot of places I like, and a lot of places I don’t like.”” Pond and his band, the near-eponymous Matt Pond PA, have called the Big Apple home for the past few years.

    Matt Pond PA will play at the Rialto Theatre tomorrow. The band’s music is excitingly hard to pigeonhole into a single genre. Piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and strings are all present on the band’s newest album, Several Arrows Later. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Pond doesn’t simply add violin or piano to a track and call it a ballad. The strings in tracks like “”City Song”” and “”It is Safe”” highlight the emotional highs and lows without dominating the songs.

    Originally founded in Philadelphia in the late ’90s, Matt Pond PA maintained a rotating lineup for years, keeping the band from solidifying until 2003, when Matt moved to Brooklyn.

    “”Some people need a little more security in their life other than sleeping in hotels and sleeping in bars every night. I don’t,”” Pond said.

    Despite the revolving door of band members, Pond continued to write and record, releasing nearly a half-dozen albums before moving.

    The new location helps provide stability. The label is there, and that’s where the band lives, Pond said. The newest release, Several Arrows Later, was written both in New York and his home state of New Hampshire.

    Despite all the advantages the large metropolis offers, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks.

    “”It can be hard to concentrate in New York,”” Pond said. “”There are just a lot of people in such a small space.””

    The benefits must offset the balance, however, as 21 songs for the follow up to Several Arrows Later have already been recorded, Pond said.

    The new tracks bring to attention Pond’s ability to find meaning and symbolism in everyday objects.

    “”I put my meaning and definitions in things all the time, maybe arbitrarily,”” he said. Just as able to find inspiration in the abstract as he is in the bustling life of the country’s largest city, Pond’s focus on the new album is on the intangible.

    “”It’s about light and apathy,”” he said. “”That’s kind of the reason I moved to New York; it’s an anti-apathy city.””

    An accomplished musician with several albums under his belt, songs featured on the television show “”The O.C.”” and opening gigs for bands like Keane, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Pond is a man who knows what he wants years from now.

    “”I can see myself living in the country somewhere,”” he said. In the meantime, he’s happy with life on tour and the comforts that come with it.

    “”Hotel coffee is delicious,”” he joked. “”It’s like brown water.””

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