Buy: Bandcamp (NYOP)
The Natural Lines are an indie rock band helmed by Matt Pond and Chris Hansen whose debut EP, First Five, came out in October. While we wait for the full-length LP due in 2023, the band has given us the gift of “Quiet Magic.” First… let’s quickly take note of that name we might be familiar with here at Christmas Underground – Matt Pond. This new band rose out of his recent collaborations, and he felt it best to ditch the somewhat-eponymous band name to reflect the collaborative nature of this new setup. Now back to The Natural Lines, and this beautiful track, “Quiet Magic.” I love that the song gives all the weight and all the credit to the love he already feels. It is possible to dislike Christmas, yet comfort in your love for friends and family. The small moments of togetherness that he points to are so simple and beautiful, like in this passage:
If it’s real
Then I’ll take it
On the couch, with you
And the dog
Late at night
Those quiet moments just enjoying the company of those you love… you don’t have to love Christmas for that.
I rather liked their own description of the song, so I’m going to share it here as well.
It might initially sound like a disgruntled yodel from the complaint department, but it’s far from it. It’s about the sensation that predates all celebrations — the love of family, the love of friends, the love of your life and the love of music. All I’ve ever wanted is the quiet magic of a love that’s real. (If that’s your thing, I hope you get some, too.)
Bottom Line: Simply beautiful.
While not exactly Christmas tunes, matt pond PA‘s More Winter Lives continues the winter themes of 2016’s Winter Lives. The warm textures of mpPA’s orchestration keep us cozy, as Matt sings about the season that no doubt dominates his upstate New York life. The song I would like to particularly highlight on this 5-track EP is the beautiful “In Winter,” which features Laura Burhenn (of the Mynabirds) and LA’s Steady Holiday on background vocals. This is classic mpPA, featuring their expert use of strings and beautifully layered orchestration. Reminds me of my days in college obsessing about The Green Fury…
There are also some beautiful instrumentals on More Winter Lives, along with the excellent “The Moon Rose.” Worth checking out for sure.
Bottom Line: Matt Pond PA often uses the seasons as his muse, and with “In Winter”, beautifully so.
I just got an email from matt pond PA, a band that I have followed for well over a decade. I remember being madly in love with The Green Fury in college, and it still holds up. Well, mpPA is holding a holiday contest of sorts, where they are requesting you to comment on Facebook with the next song they should cover. You simply post the suggestion, and tell them why. The post with the most likes by 12/12 will be the winner. They have started off the festivities by offering up a free, Christmasy download of George Harrison’s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).” All that is required is your e-mail address. Of note… unless I’ve missed something, I don’t believe I’ve ever noticed a synth in mpPA before. Interesting…
Bottom Line: Great song, done well. I’d say it has a good shot ending up on some of your mixes for sure! 4/4