Matt Pond PA / Cameron Pollack for WXPN

Matt Pond PA‘s music was made for the long drive home, for the precious little time spent with family. The music off his new record Winter Lives evokes images of snow-capped pines and valleys dusted in white. His lyricism evokes imagery of a world that, while rife with problems, is still beautiful. His music, especially from this latest record, instills a belief that there is somehow still love out there, a belief, foremost, in people.

That belief shone throughout his Free at Noon set; starting with “In Winter” he made the room warm up with lyrics like “the cold will bring us close”, a welcome sentiment in a time where, frighteningly, everyone feels slightly more distant than usual. “The Glow,” a song written for Pond’s mother, was rife with vibrant guitar, and painted a beautiful picture of a family and all its messy dynamics in the dead of winter. Songs like “So Much Trouble”, “Love To Get Used” and “Halloween” showed Pond’s take on all the vicissitudes of life; humans, as it turns out, are still complicated.

Most charming was Pond’s gratitude for the crowd both in person and on the air; he remarked on several occasions at the surrealism of having a crowd at noon, noting “It’s amazing that you all are here! Like, you all just quit your jobs!”

Pond had just recovered from a two-week long cold, and he checked in constantly to make sure the audience didn’t find him abhorrent; “you guys don’t hate me right?” he said. He remarked before a song midway through the set, “these songs aren’t explicitly holiday songs, but I don’t care,” only to correct himself later. “I just want to clarify,” he said, “I don’t not care about the holidays, but there are some not-as-good parts.” He pointed to presents as one example of something he didn’t care for as much.

“Except if they’re good presents,” he noted.

Listen to the performance in the player below, and check out a gallery of photos from the show!

Matt Pond PA 12.23.16

In Winter
Whoa (Thirteen and Sledding with Kerry in Northern New Hampshire)
The Glow
So Much Trouble
New Hampshire
Love to Get Used