Mining some of the same thumpy, quick-paced territory as the terrific “Love To Get Used” (featured here back in 2011), “Hole In My Heart” smolders with a reflective kind of momentum. It’s muscular and sensitive in equal parts, because rather than downplaying instrumentation in favor of straight-ahead energy (what most uptempo songs naturally do), this one is beautifully enhanced by distinct instrumental touches. First, there’s the cello that weaves its way through the rhythm section starting around 0:21. Then check out that somewhat old-fashioned synthesizer accent first heard pressing in on the action at 0:36—a distinctive tone that seems somehow air-driven, as an accordion. You’ll soon hear a banjo in the mix as well (around 0:52), which adds to the hand-sewn, almost hardscrabble ambiance.
Another old-fashioned touch is the balladic device of having the title emerge repeatedly at the end of lyrical lines. But rather than letting this hem him in melodically (often this tactic is employed in lieu of a chorus), Pond uses it as a springboard into what opens into a complex and beautiful chorus. I especially love the very Pond-ian turn of melody on the line “We waste a million woes” (first heard at 0:41). So gorgeous and so fleeting; when the chorus cycles next back to this moment, it’s not even there. We are instead (starting at 0:53) led gracefully and thoughtfully back to the titular phrase.
“Hole In My Heart,” originally on the Matt Pond album, The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand, has recently surfaced as a free and legal MP3 via the release of a three-song EP, which features the album version of the song that you hear here, plus an acoustic version, plus a cover of the Stevie Nicks song “Wild Heart.” You can hear it all and download all the songs for free via SoundCloud. The album itself was released back in February, and was the first album recorded by Matt Pond using his name alone, rather than the band name Matt Pond PA, under which moniker he released many albums and EPs between 1998 and 2011. Note that originally, the aforementioned song “Love to Get Used” was released on the Matt Pond PA EP Spring Fools, in 2011. (It was also, later, the number-one favorite free and legal MP3 of that year here.) It too found its way onto the excellent 2013 solo release.