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Last Light

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Album Review

Like its title suggests, Last Light is mainly focused on twilight, that hazy period where scattered sun separates nighttime from daylight. The album also finds Matt Pond sitting in the producer's seat for the first time, bolstering his track list with an indie rock polish not heard on previous albums. Much like Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, whose atmospheric sound was one of Light's biggest inspirations, these songs mix melancholy with hope, reality with memory, lonely guitars with chamber pop string sections. Case even makes a cameo here, singing backup on the bluesy "Taught to Look Away." She's one of many guests, actually; having lost the lineup that helped record Several Arrows Later, Pond has assembled another competent group — including a replacement cellist, although the instrument isn't used as often — and filled his cameo list with names like Isobel Sollenberger (Bardo Pond), John O'Mahoney (Metric), guest producer Rob Schnapf (Beck), and Rooney guitarist Taylor Locke. Often, the music is wistful and introspective, with Pond annunciating his lyrics with slow deliberation. Elsewhere, he embraces the sweeping guitar-led sounds of Blur, Pulp, and other British heavyweights, whose influence culminates on the memorable "Basement Parties." Last Light is a different album from what we've heard before, and Matt Pond has rarely put himself in such close contact with his idols. Even so, it's another move forward for an artist who rarely heads in the wrong direction.


Formed: 1998 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although originally formed as a chamber pop quintet, matt pond PA went through several different lineups throughout its existence, with each incarnation revolving around the talents of singer/songwriter Matt Pond (previously of Mel's Rockpile). Pond formed the group upon relocating from New England to Philadelphia, and he filled out his first lineup with guitarist/bassist Josh Kramer, cellist Jim Hostetter, violinist Rosie McNamara-Jones, and drummer Sean Byrne. The band debuted in 1998 with Deer...
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Last Light, Matt Pond PA
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