LIVE REVIEW: Matt Pond PA and Wintersleep @ the Independent
“Yell at me or something” Matt asked of the Independent crowd while he was tuning in between songs. The room fell awkwardly silent for a minute before seasoned fans actually followed directions. “Play Hollows” one fan demanded. Another chimed in “Winter Fawn!” And on and on.
“I ask you guys to yell at me, and you’re requesting songs?” As I looked around, the 1/2 full room simultaneously nods in agreement. Matt looked up from tuning his guitar “Well, I was thinking more along the lines of all of you screaming ‘AWESOME.’”
Matt Pond PA is quite the singer-songwriter conundrum. His band has changed members multiple times along the way, and he doesn’t really speak between songs. As heartfelt and heartbreaking as his songs may be, he never lets you in to why he wrote them, what the song is truly about, or who they’re about.
“AWESOME,” the audience chimes in after another song then a round of applause. Matt laughs and directs the band into another song. It’s soft and sweet and I’m looking around, wondering why this small crowd has more men in it than women. Everyone knows the words, they sing along silently, and let Matt take the lead with his sultry man voice.
It’s quite unfortunate that a band this good doesn’t hit with San Franciscans. Only about 350 people stuck around for Matt, after a great set by Wintersleep, the supporting band for the tour. If you’re interested in more pictures from the night go HERE, and if you want some free B-sides from Matt’s latest record The Dark Leaves check out his site and on the right hand side, you can submit an email address for 2 free downloads.
Touring with Matt and supporting their new record, New Inheritors is Canadian band Wintersleep. Not hearing much of the band beforehand, I was really unsure what to expect. Praised by some as “Canada’s best kept secret” is very close to accurate. To be more precise, the band is from Nova Scotia. Not that I can point to Nova Scotia on a map or anything, but it would be fun to say “I’m from Nova Scotia,” for some odd reason. Nova. Scotia. Say it aloud, it’s fun.
If they are anything, Wintersleep is quite infectious. The raw vocals of Paul Murphy paired along with swirling synths and guitars will have you wondering why you’ve never heard of this band from nearly 3,500 miles away. The hooks are catchy, the riffs are addicting, and after a 45-minute set comprised of songs off their latest album New Inheritors I took to the merch table to score some things I’ll probably never wear.
For more Wintersleep, stream the latest album and download some songs below. For more visuals – check out the set of pictures we snapped.