The Natural Lines is a new project by the artist who previously recorded as Matt Pond PA. The band’s debut First Five EP will be released on October 14th, 2022, by Bella Union ahead of a new album due out in early 2023. The band have also shared a video and the lead track “The Problem Is Me” shot around Manhattan and Coney Island. As the song title suggests, it takes in self-questioning but also brings in humor.

Fans of Matt Pond might wonder why the name change. Recorded with close collaborators and friends over a period that saw Pond make “vital adjustments to his life”, The Natural Lines’ emergence reflects his desire to “set a fresh pace” for himself and “come from somewhere new, somewhere more open”. 

He adds:

I quit lying. I checked my harsher tones. I cut my drinking down. I went to therapy and stopped shouting at cars.

Now, the name change honours his collaborators. Among a revolving cast, one constant presence in his work has been Chris Hansen, who plays guitar, bass, keys, saxophone and sings. Singer-songwriter Anya Marina joins “In The Dark” and Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins / Bella Union) adds to the same track.

Other band members number Hilary James (cello/vocals), Kyle Kelly-Yahner (drums), Louie Lino (keys), Sarah Hansen (horns), Sean Hansen (drums/bass), Andy Dixon (drums), Kat Murphy (vocals) and, also on vocals, MJ Murphy.