Closer has always been one of my favorite songs by matt pond PA. So I was pumped when it was the first-released single on their new album, A Collection Of Bees Part 1, 12 tracks of rarities, demos, and a re-recording. It’s impossible to improve on the 2002 version of Closer, with the strings from Rachel’s, but the just-released demo is great, too. It took me right back to my Chicago suburbs 2003 existence where I first heard it.
It’s the strongest track on the new album, but the whole thing is great listening.
I lost track of mpPA after their 2007 Last Light. That album didn’t hit me the way The Green Fury and The Nature of Maps (both released in 2002) did. It didn’t feel as cohesive as Emblems (2004) or Several Arrows Later (2005), although all four of these albums are hard to top. I got back into mpPA again withThe Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand (2013, released by just “Matt Pond”). And I just bought Last Light at a used CD store the other day! I like it now more than I first did.
I reminisce because A Collection Of Bees Part 1 is a perfect opportunity to re-visit the band’s discography. The album spans quite a few records. I haven’t seen this anywhere yet, so here’s the track listing, followed by where (as best as I can tell) one would have first heard that track, or a version of it:
1. Starlet (Acoustic), The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand (2013)
2. Stopping, Threeep (2010)
3. Blue Fawn (First Light Demo), called “First Light” on Auri Sacra Fames (2008)
4. Love To Get Used (Demo), The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand (2013)
5. Wild Heart, Fleetwood Mac cover
6. First Fawn (Brooklyn Fawn Demo), called “Brooklyn Fawn” on The Dark Leaves (2010)
7. Lily 3 (Acoustic), bonus track from The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand (2013)
8. Remember Me, Threeep (2010)
9. Closer (Demo), The Nature of Maps (2002)
10 .The Colour Out of Space, Threeep (2010)
11. Round and Round, Free the Fawns (2016, obscure release!), maybe somewhere else, too?
12. The Wrong Man, Threeep (2010)
Even tracking down where these songs come from, I realize how much music this band has put out over the years! It’s awesome to revisit it all because of this new album, which itself holds together quite nicely.
Thanks to the powers-that-be for the advance release download of this fine album, so I could write a review.