From The Desk Of matt pond PA: Orchid Mantis

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: These mantes from southeast Asia perfectly mimic flowers in order to trap and consume their prey. The males remain small and plain, while females pose and posture their way to their lavish moth-meals.

Beautiful and evil. (Please pardon the inverted carnival mirrors, but I love the meaning of these bugs.)

Human beings. Our benevolent shimmers merely mask the primal motivations. Money and lipstick aren’t anything more than a superficial sleight of hand. Songs may merely be sad spiderwebs for the melodically inclined.

Look, I apologize for ever putting a scarf on a dog. Or for a cartoon lifetime of anthropomorphism. From now on, I just want to know what’s what.

If you’re gorgeous and hungry—you’re probably going to eat me alive.

I get it. I have a grilled cheese head. It’s cool.