Matt Pond PA The Nature of Maps

Naming a band Matt Pond PA may not be the brightest move, especially if you always have to defend the fact that it is a band and not a solo act. This six-piece band from Philadelphia, led by a man named Matt Pond, mix up melodic indie-rock with some truly creative ideas. On their fourth album, The Nature of Maps, the mood is set with plenty of tenderness through the use of cellos, vibes, a violin, harp and banjo. With this wide array of instruments available, Matt Pond PA can wander from the usual guitar/drum/bass rock they seem comfortable performing, add some strings or piano and make it a little more special. While it may not strike anyone as mind-blowing, The Nature of Maps has many moments of beauty and does plenty to avoid the mediocrity that easily falls upon music these days. (Polyvinyl)