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Matt Pond PA

Matt Pond looks back on his past 10 years as a musician



A lot can change over the course of 10 years—just ask singer-songwriter and guitarist Matt Pond. Since his band, Matt Pond PA, released its seminal album Emblems in 2004, the New York-based artist’s approach to making music has evolved, and he dropped the “PA” from the band’s name in 2013. There’s just one change that Pond laments: “Resonate Studio in Manhattan, where I recorded the album,” Pond says. “I just walked by that space and it no longer exists.”

Emblems—featuring a stripped-down, orchestral folk-pop vibe, particularly on sweeping tracks like “The Butcher” and “Bring on the Ending”—was the band’s fifth album, but cemented the band’s role in the indie-pop scene. And though recent Matt Pond albums, like 2013’s The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand, have embraced more of a pop-rock aesthetic, Emblems still holds a special place for Pond, too.

“I made [Emblems] when I moved to New York, and it was a pretty crazy time because I didn’t know anybody, so it was a pretty big deal for me,” he says.

But even on the track “Grave’s Disease,” Elements showed hints of what was to come on future records by combining strings with a driving pop-rock rhythm—something that would eventually become Pond’s musical bread & butter.

And just as Pond’s sound has undergone some fine-tuning throughout the years, so too has his songwriting technique.

“I know what I was going through when I wrote [Emblems], and I know how I approached songwriting,” Pond says. “It changes from album to album, though. I appreciate things I did on one album, but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to do it again. Every album, I’m talking about the same themes, but I want to do it in a different way.”

But now, with 10 years of separation from Emblems’ creation, Pond is going back for a visit—with the “PA” reinstated in the band name for this tour as a way to recall the days when the band was based in Pennsylvania—by playing Elements live in its entirety, with a twist.

Recording the album was a memorable experience and Pond is pleased with the final results. But, he says, that doesn’t mean he won’t be making a few changes to some of the songs.

“What I hope to do with these shows is improve on the songs and make them come to life,” Pond says. “As much as I’m proud of the things I do, I am more aware of their imperfections than anybody, and that’s what’s exciting about this is you can edit. I’m excited to be able to edit the hell out of them.”

The Urban Lounge
241 S. 500 East
Saturday, May 17, 8 p.m.
$13 in advance, $15 day of show
Limited no-fee tickets available at

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