From The Desk Of matt pond PA: Mitski

The 11th matt pond PA full-length, Winter Lives, features artwork that evokes Windham Hill’s catalog. Winter Lives arrives 11 years after Pond’s nearly all covers EP, Winter Songs. Pond, a New Hampshire native, understands the season that inspired Winter Lives, but he needed to write winter songs in the spring, so the album would arrive in context. Given his background, Pond didn’t scratch down too far to find inspiration. “It’s just visceral,” he says of winter. “There’s this coldness and shut-down emotional temperament to people in northern places, but when you get through that, there’s so much depth and reality to northern people.” Pond will be guest editing over the next two winter weeks. Read our new feature on him.

Pond: I want more heroes. I don’t need the playing field to be leveled. I want to forget about existence and shut down my computer world, all for a memory eclipsing the constant stream of imagery that floods my face.

I don’t want to be told that I am wrong when I gently wince at Hillary Clinton or Bon Iver or Angel Olsen or Kanye West. I would like to spiritedly wrangle with everyone at some point. (Have you seen me tease my sisters? Have you noticed me fail at Scrabble? I’d like to go down as one of the greatest sore losers of all time.)

Herein comes Mitski. Odd and modest at first introduction, soft melodies soon expand the aural riverbanks, through broadening, inspired production. Muffled drum machines grow into grinding guitars, saxophones, drums open wider, wider synths, back down to ticking, thumping electronic beats.

There’s no defying or denying admission into the world Mitski’s created—the listeners are respectfully allowed to participate, to see themselves through the lens, to feel both disillusioned and triumphant, as one.

We got here following the sweetest skein, through perfectly articulated strangenesses, drawn and sung, drawn and sung, until it’s OK to explode, it’s OK to dance badly and sing a full-throated harmony to “Your Best American Girl,” no matter what’s down beneath your trousers or on the arm of all these random, inconsequential skin tones.

We need more Princes, Chrissie Hyndes, David Bowies, Morrisseys and Mitskis.

“Down empty streets sniffing glue me and you, blank open eyes watch the moonflower bloom”