"Our Braided Lives" - Matt Pond PA
It's been a long time since we've heard from Matt Pond and company here on Fingertips; his band, purveyors of thoughtful, string-supported pop, was one of the site's early stars (an original listee on the Select Artist Guide, even); they were also one of the first 21st-century indie bands to find themselves playing for a mainstream TV audience, via placement on The O.C.. The band was actually formed back in the 20th century (1998), in Philadelphia; they have operated from Brooklyn since 2003, and have undergone a variety of lineup changes over the years.
"Our Braided Lives" is vintage MPPA--sweet but firm, wistful but forward-moving, with a deep-seated melodicism and nicely intertwining guitars. The two main melodies on display--one from the verse, one from the chorus--balance each other brilliantly: the melody in the verse feels like a thoughtful journey, hinging upon an unresolved moment (the line ending at 0:46, for the first example of it); the chorus melody, more focused, is one of those glorious, slightly melancholy descending lines, neatly balanced by a warm, ascending guitar. And check out this masterly bit of songwriting: both the verse and the chorus conclude with the same line, both melodically and lyrically, which surely contributes to the this solid sense of arrival the song evokes.
"Our Braided Lives" comes from the band's new free EP, which is being called, plainly enough, The Freeep (go here for the download; check out, while you're there, Pond's musings on the EP's title, among other things). The EP was self-released last week.