After the cabin-generated gauze of The Dark Leaves, this is the Spring Fools EP. Straightforward simple histories that install and extract the tongue from the cheek at will. Hummed in hotel rooms across the country, written out on spiral bound notebooks in the backseat of a fifteen-passenger van, assembled in Hudson, NY and tracked down in Austin, Texas.
The Athabasca he speaks about on “Love To Get Used” is the same one from the earlier album, The Nature of Maps. The idea appears to be that meanings have to be lost before they're found, that recollections are occasionally meant-to-be forgotten and physical love might sometimes be the only truth. “Human Beings” does not hide the fact that it's from a time when vampires only went on the weekends. Mr. Andrew Kenny from The Wooden Birds puts the pulse in its place. But you can also hear Pond pleading to the back of his mind not tell let himself slip further to the dark side. “Lovers Always Win” is more of question than assertion. Nineteen year-old, Ariel Abshire takes the lead on as if she were distant kin of Neko Case or Ms. Nicks. Things settle into a silvery groove on “Spring Fawn,” wherein Matt Pond accepts that the fawn he's been looking for is forever gone. Leslie Sisson rounds the album out on “Sugar Bush,” a close-knit unison on song where tenderness washes away the stains of cynicism.
As is the case with every one of Pond's albums, the end result is the sum of the collaborations. Ariel Abshire, Andrew Kenny, Ethan Herr, Daniel Crowell and Leslie Sisson all stamped themselves into the grain of these songs. As is the case of late, Chris Hansen engineered, produced and played himself in and out of every corner of Spring Fools. SinceEmblems and Several Arrows Later were captained by producer/engineer, Louie Lino, the decision to double back to Austin and work together again was a fully realized dream.
"Soon is the spring, with the grass becoming green, with the hope for everything waiting to happen."
Some music can be alienating. Spring Fools is not even close.