Matt Pond PA

A little bit harder now

Hook, line and sinker: Matt Pond PA catches on with the indie crowd.
Hook, line and sinker: Matt Pond PA catches on with the indie crowd.

The kind of group that exists just beneath the radar, sneaking onto mix tapes and performing as the unknown but charming opener for a wide range of better-known acts, Matt Pond PA has always written great melodies. Formed when the band's titular head moved from New England to Pennsylvania, the group's undergone a number of lineup changes, the most recent being when Pond moved to Brooklyn prior to the recording of 2004's Emblems. With the change came a subtle but substantial shift away from the pretty shimmer and sway of delicate chamber pop toward a still lush but undeniably more rocking attack. At times on Matt Pond PA's latest, Several Arrows Later, the band sounds like a more refined Rogue Wave, blending indie pop and rock impulses. Pond's a wonderful craftsman with hooks sharp enough to cut glass, so if one prefers his gentler, laconic moments, it's only a quibble.

 
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