Release Date: Feb 5, 2013
Record label: BMG
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Chamber Pop
For his first musical outing sans his PA suffix, Matt Pond wants you to know that he is capable of being happy…or at least optimistic. Unlike the reoccurring melancholic and bittersweet tone of his nine previous releases, album number 10—The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hands—showcases a lighter side of Pond lyrically and musically. He makes this rose-tinted shift immediately with the album’s energetic opener “Let Me Live”—a song that embodies the new LP’s attitude: driving beats, playful pop melodies and easy-to-learn choruses.
Even with dozens of LPs, EPs and singles credited to Matt Pond PA, The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hands is like a solo record of sorts. The band’s bearded namesake has long left his native northern New Hampshire. He’s moved past his Bearsville, N.Y. album-in-an-abandoned-cabin hideaway. And ….
While The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand is the tenth album for prolific singer/songwriter Matt Pond, it's also his first. Semantically, this release is the first credited simply to the singer's name, where before he'd been going by matt pond PA, that extra suffix suggesting a more collaborative effort coming from Pond and the musicians who made up his band at any given time. While Lives still features a lengthy list of contributors, there seems to be a renewed sense of purpose to this set of Pond's gentle-hearted indie songcraft.
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon isn’t the only musician that has spent some time in a cabin. In 2010, Matt Pond sequestered himself up in Bearsville, New York, to produce a record called The Dark Leaves that wound up spawning so much material in the form of outtakes that several EPs came out of the session. If it was a productive period for Pond, it’s clear that he now wants to wade into much bigger waters and leave the solitude of cabin life in the woods behind for something ...
When Matt Pond dropped the “PA” in his name, it was largely symbolic. After nearly a decade as Matt Pond PA, the group has been a revolving-door of members, with the exception of main collaborator Chris Hansen. Pond’s new solo record makes clear the extent to which he’s been the driving force behind the sound attached to the moniker. The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hands runs in succession to Pond’s previous work, with the exception of a few peppier tracks.