Preview: For Matt Pond PA, some things never change

Indie rock veterans will bring their characteristic sound to the Westcott on Thursday.

Matt Pond PA are not the same band they were when they started. In the 12 years since their formation, the band found a new homebase, altered their line-up many times and released albums on several different record labels. Yet throughout all these changes, Matt Pond PA has managed to keep a consistent sound thanks to the architect and one permanent fixture of the band – Matt Pond himself.

Pond and company will bring that sound to Syracuse this Thursday when they perform at the Westcott Theater.

The band, which has been compared to Rogue Wave and the Shins, released their eighth full-length album, The Dark Leaves, in April on Megaforce. On the album, Pond once again orchestrates his pop melodies around harmonies, acoustic guitar, string sections and soft vocals. 

Pond created the band in the late '90s in Pennsylvania (the other half of the band’s namesake). The original roster included guitarist/bassist Josh Kramer, cellist Jim Hostetter, violinist Rosie McNamara-Jones and drummer Sean Byrne. The first album, Deer Apartments, received recognition in a competition between unsigned bands. In 2001, Pond and Hostetter welcomed new members, including another cello player, Eve Miller. The band also signed with Polyvinyl and released their third and fourth albums, The Green Fury and The Nature of Maps, in 2002.

The next year Pond relocated to Brooklyn, leaving his bandmates behind. Instead of paying homage to Philadelphia, he now references his new digs, like the track “Brooklyn Fawn” on The Dark Leaves.

In New York, he put together a new outfit to round out the band. Emblems was released in 2004 on Altitude Records. Pond added cellist Dana Feder to the ensemble in 2005, the same year Several Arrows Later was released.

Now, the group consists of Pond, guitarist/vocalist Leslie Sisson (also in side project The Wooden Birds with Pond), bassist George Souleidis, drummer Aram Deradoorian and guitarist/vocalist Chris Hansen. Hansen also was the engineer and co-producer for The Dark Leaves, which features performances from earlier members Miller on cello and Dan Crowell on drums.

For The Dark Leaves, Pond sequestered himself from the city and worked from a cabin in the woods outside Bearsville, N.Y. (reminiscent of Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago). It will be interesting to see if the he can bring these songs out of the dark and make them come to life on stage.

Opening for mpPA will be Rochester-based band Sports, a group that revolves its power pop songs around an electric organ, and Co. (also known as Company), an indie rock band out of Charleston, South Carolina.

Matt Pond PA, Sports and CO play the Westcott Theater on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door and $13 presale; see for details.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.