The music in Matt Pond PA’s “Winter Lives” wraps around listening ears like a blanket bringing warmth into a cold season. His words reinforce the feeling: “The cold will bring us close.” These lyrics along with others paint a landscape of dancing snowflakes and embracing lovers, making listeners see with their ears.
Strings swirl through a simple repeating guitar riff, the tone slightly high, nearly imitating the sound of bells. “In Winter”, the opening track of Matt Pond PA’s album, is the first of many songs on his album that establishes a visual setting.
The bands’ second song, “The Glow”, centers around a discussion in a living room, probably around the time of Christmas or New Years as suggested by the phrase, “The love and blood run wild in the year now new.”
His references to “spoiled cats”, and “who will do the dishes” bring in mind a traditional family dinner around the holidays, combining nostalgia, metaphor, and physical occurrences: “There’s no way there won’t be spills and stains of sorrow.”
Many of the songs on this album are instrumentals, but with titles like “Sunset at the Gas Pump,” “A Candle and a Deck of Cards,” and “Leggings in the Living Room” images connect to the auditory perception of these songs, making them both visible and audible masterpieces.
The title track, “Winter Lives” holds true to a solitary metaphor that lets a little more of the cold in: “You keep coming in, you keep on crashing my life.” The singer laments, “I was a wreck on the rocks to survive.” He sings of “spinning”, “breaking dishes”, and ultimately shivers in fear of losing winter entirely or allowing her to take hold to thoroughly.
Matt Pond PA’s newest album eloquently captures scenes of a cold season, connecting songs to sight and creating a motion picture of wintry moods. Music that provokes a film in your mind with such artistry cannot be seen in any theatre. You must play it in your mind and let the music guide you.