Matt Pond PA

Winter Songs (Altitude Records)

Prolific as a deceased rapper, chamber-pop outfit Matt Pond PA is hard to keep up with. This year, the group released an EP and a full-length, and next month another immaculate collection of delicate pop hits the bins. Winter Songsincludes one original tune and two brief instrumentals, but the record is primarily an unusual assortment of Pond-treated covers. First, the ensemble places its sad-sack thumbprint on a faithful version of the Neil Young rarity "Winterlong." The band then rocks quietly but firmly on "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight," a Richard and Linda Thompson classic. Eve Miller's cello even kicks out some fist-pumping riffs. A twinkling, melancholy arrangement turns Lindsey Buckingham's ridiculous "Holiday Road" into a dignified Pond composition. Finally, a stately rendering of Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" provides the perfect ending to another lovely, satisfying Matt Pond PA record.

 
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