Written by Maria Arroyo
Matt Pond PA shares their transformative EP, Songs of Disquiet. Their new release is a hidden gem that has rose to the surface during this difficult time we’re all in. Bringing the band together is Matt Pond and Chris Hansen, who has needed to “reevaluate the way they work, create, and communicate” with the state of the world.
Songs Of Disquiet is a collection of songs, both original and covers, that speak to the truth of our world as we see it, or rather, how Pond and Hansen are seeing it. “Born out of the convergence of both a global pandemic and a worldwide civil rights movement, the collaborations therein happened at a distance, through wires and pure faith. All of the songs speak to themes of not only disquiet and unrest but inner transformation and hope.”
The track, “The Start V2,” opens Songs Of Disquiet EP. Right off the bat, I get to connect with the song on a personal level, but through the eyes of the writers. The way they tell their story is compelling, but not too complex and abstract. Both Pond and Hansen do a great job of matching his musical moments to the emotional aspect of the music, and the blend of the two really makes for a beautiful creation. “Wild Strawberries” draws you in with a pleasantly written guitar part. The creation of this calming surrounding is a big topic that I touch on throughout and is really one of my favorite parts of this release.
The highlight of the EP is hands down his rendition of Thermals’ 2006 song, “Pillar of Salt (Still) V2.” Pond and Hansen deliver an all-acoustic and somber performance that creates this beautiful look into more traditional folk music. Another cover piece is “Rock in the Sea” by Shocking Blue which introduces a strong rhythmic drive that really propels the EP in an even stronger direction. “Summer Interlude” is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a great break between the songs, and creates a very calm and soothing atmosphere.
Breaking up the more somber elements of Songs Of Disquiet is “Give Me Love” by George Harrison with some timeless aspects from old hits. There’s this beachy vibe to it, but overall, it’s just a fun piece to listen to, with some unanticipated melodic moments.
“Pillar of Salt” (Stirred) featuring Anya Marina is just as mesmerizing as the acoustic take! To hear not only one interpretation of an already accomplished song but two, they nailed it! It made me love the EP as a whole even more! They were able to keep the beautiful acoustic version intact, but add more movement within the rhythm to still keep the song fresh.
Sadly, the EP comes to an end, but at least I can just hit repeat on my phone! Closing out the EP is the track “Face To Face.” This piece introduces a cool psychedelic and washy guitar with some extra delay for good measure. There are tons of rising and fall within the song, creating an even bigger contrast between the softer and more intense parts of the song. There’s even an extra gem at the end of the song, but I guess you’ll just have to listen to it to know what I mean.
Songs of Disquiet is truly transformative. There are so many different emotions and flavors that bring each and every one of these songs to life, and with every listen, I found something new to love. While the EP isn’t all original, I think the covers they chose were so methodically thought out in a way that gives justice to the original creators, and him as an arranger. The covers – cool psychedelic and washy guitar intro with some added delay. Beautiful rise and fall of the song I really enjoyed this song, especially as a closer. There are tons of different emotions and flavors that bring this song to life, and I find something new to love with every listen.
I love that the songs they chose to cover really work to compliment their original music, instead of their release being about revamping already created songs. Their interpretation is original, and I think the original writers would feel proud to have their songs done in such justice.
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