The NATURAL LINES – ” The Natural Lines “

Posted: December 1, 2022 in MUSIC

Following their recent “First Five” EP The Natural Lines have announced the release of their self-titled debut album, “The Natural Lines”, out 24th March via Bella Union Records. To accompany the announcement the band have shared an entertaining video for first single and album opener “Monotony” featuring celebrated American comedian, actress and TV host Nikki Glaser playing a somewhat unconventional therapist. Commenting on the song and video frontman Matt Pond says: “Over the last few years, I’ve tried to focus on my breathing—to try to and be a better singer, to try and be a better person. But it’s hard to sit still and slow down when the world seems so unruly.

“Monotony” is an anthem about the daily tightrope—searching for the right path between passion and apathy. All the while, I’ve been working with Nikki Glaser. Her fearlessness is contagious. Since she never hesitates to tell me what she really thinks, I thought it made perfect sense for Nikki to portray my therapist in the video.” 

Sometimes, a change of view can transform a person’s world. On ‘Don’t Come Down’, the artist formerly known as Matt Pond PA can be found with his “shoulder on the concrete” of a pavement, scoping out the world anew. This granular realignment of perspective serves as an open door to the debut album from The Natural Lines. At once clearly Pond’s work yet a huge leap forward in its measured songcraft, melodic immediacy, collaborative detail and wryly questioning lyrics, the result is a gorgeous album of intimate reflections from a relocated, renamed, revivified talent.

Car troubles inspire ‘No More Tragedies’, the album’s standout second track, where he wryly details his desire to dampen his twinned impulses to take pictures of license plates blocking his parking space or take bricks to said car windshields. Warming melodies and harmonies soothe his rage, a balance maintained elsewhere on the album.

A need for connection underpins the lilting ‘Alex Bell’, where Matt’s lyrics playfully reference the inventor of the telephone over a plaintive cello and bubbling keyboards – evidence of the album’s carefully nurtured arrangements. With nimble sequencing, ‘My Answer’ follows with a question: do artists really need to get messed-up to create? Matt may not have the answer, he admits, but he articulates the question beautifully, channelling the influence of Blue Öyster Cult’s ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ into a song of fleet, melodic electric-folk drive.

Featuring 17-year-old MJ Murphy on misty backing vocals, the softly insistent ‘Don’t Come Down’ is an album centrepiece, detailing a need to see things anew. Like The Flaming Lips writing a classicist piano ballad, the twinkling ‘Artificial Moonlight’ finds Matt writing late at night, illuminated by the lights from streetlamps. Finally, ‘Mahwah’ closes the album on a note of arrival. 

Recorded with close collaborators and friends over a period that saw Pond make vital adjustments to his life, its stealth emergence reflects his desire to set a fresh pace for himself and come from somewhere new, somewhere more open.

the self titled debut album by The Natural Lines, released 24th March 2023 via Bella Union:

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