Someone told me a long time ago I'd like Matt Pond PA. Unsure whether or not the band name had to do with an incident involving water and music equipment, I put off listening to them until their seventh studio album Last Light released this week, of which drips of soft percussion perfection and tight guitar riffs. Coupled with Pond's versatility in making his voice ooze with sensuality or regret, and Last Light is ideal for both late-night studying and early afternoon car rides down to the beach.
Title track "Last Light" opens the show with a layered shoegaze jumble of guitar and light distortion, while also delivering a friendly pop vibe in lyrics "In the end we can see perfect endlessness/ When we're gone, when we're gone, when we're gone." In lounge piano show, throwback tune track "Taught to Look Away," Pond seizes the opportunity to duet with Neko Case for a warm, woozy tale of long-lost love and yearn, which is an interesting choice for a song midway through a mostly indie-aligned album. The song closes with "Are you listening 2,000 miles from here?/Are the crickets just as clear?" and ending so abruptly it sounds both intentional and accidental.
A drumming solo and Guitar Hero-worthy wails on "The Crush," sharp riffs and movements within the chorus adding to the intensity of the track. "Sunlight" also provides a happy-go-lucky feel of a good time, Pond asking amidst simple guitar and finger snaps that if he "fucks up, it's okay." His earnest approach to songwriting and honest opinion help make Last Light even more likeable, and other guests that appear in support to help produce and star on (Mike Stroud from Ratatat, John Mahoney of Metric) only enhance Pond's accomplishment in the record.
Pond kicks off a cross-country tour in support of Last Light in Boston Thursday; be sure to bear witness and clap along.