matt pond PA

October 23, 2018

Deer Apartments?

In the beginning, there was just me and a badly-tuned twelve string guitar.

Deer Apartments was my first full-length album. It took about three years of stumbling through the concrete Philadelphia forests to complete. I was going to make one album and move on with my life. That didn’t happen.

Josh Kramer was the engineer and the king of patience. He was also my first true bandmate. We haven’t spoken in over fifteen years. He loved strong coffee and jazz cigarettes. Josh was a good egg.

Jim Hostetter joined us in mid-recording. I’d spotted a cello coffin case while moving his furniture. Between professorial ambitions and my rock n’ roll fritters, I was the world’s greatest/skinniest furniture mover.

A fascination with The Beatles, Jeff Lynne and Shostakovich drove me to throw caution to the wolves, and I asked him to record with us. Jim didn’t have the best technique. He was often angry at his instrument (and the rest of the world). But he wrote amazing parts and, over pyramids of beer, showed me the magic of Guided By Voices and Steely Dan. Jim was the first musician I sincerely respected. And strangely, he believed in me.

(That belief was my fuel. For the first time — and beyond any other familial or intimate relationship — I understood the true, mutual responsibility that human beings share with one another. Even though my name was on the cover, we had one dream.)

There are lumps and chunks of this album that will never make sense — lyrically, structurally. The tinny production, the yodeling. There are a few emotional turns that fill my cheeks with the bright red of an autumn sugar maple leaf. Yet Deer Apartments set me free from my chronic listlessness, altering the heading and propelling me forward.

Heck, everybody’s got to start somewhere. Right here, this is where I began. Twenty years ago. Whoa.

Download Deer Apartments here.