Photo: Matt Sav
As surprising as it may seem, Aussie wonders Pond are the most relaxed of acquaintances. Across seven records of zany transcendence and universe-reaching psychedelia, blues and garage, the band have never constricted themselves to one set of standards, consistently evolving wherever their enigmatic minds took them and ultimately being all the better for it.
Their inexplicably-flamboyant live presence is as unanimous as the far-reaching glamour of their music, as if you’re in the presence of shamanic majesties as they pull you inside a mind-bending amazon of music. You’d be forgiven for expecting craziness, but upon reaching guitarist Joe Ryan in an unbeknownst cafe in Brooklyn, the group come across as a sincere bunch, simply cherishing their opportunities and the pretty unconventional lives they lead through their fantastically wondrous band.
The guys are in the midst of a world tour in support of The Weather, perhaps their boldest yet most succinct album yet, maybe even their most accessible. “I always felt like, with each album that we’ve done, each one has felt like a step above the last.” Ryan explains, sipping from his favourite Barry’s Irish tea. “The songs are very exploratory in the sound, it’s just a good representation of where we’re all at at the moment.”
“It becomes something bigger than anything you can do by yourself, it becomes Pondified”
This is without question summoned within the indulgent pop of ‘Sweep Me Off My Feet’ and the stomp of ‘30,000 Megatons’. As a passion project made by close friends that are seemingly becoming even more practical together the more music they make: “With this one we started actually writing songs on our own and coming to the table with them. From there Jay added a riff, and then Nick would jump in. He’s a wordsmith, he’ll write these crazy lyrics, and then it just becomes something bigger than anything you can do by yourself, it becomes Pondified.”
This togetherness is perhaps such a significant element due to the way in which the album was created. Recorded together in the studio of good friend, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, the group all remained in their habitual city of Perth, and intend on remaining there for the near future. “We went down to Kevin’s studio and it was so close to the beach, so you’d get to go play some music, throw yourself into the ocean and get a pizza on the way home,” Ryan explains. “It was just very wholesome and easy, I don’t know if it was just the people, or the surroundings, or the combination of both, but whatever it was, it was very conducive. I think it’s reflected in the album.”
This sense of settled focus that Pond had over the record is almost like a clever contradiction when considering the loose vibe of the record, which exudes a feeling of displacement and disorientation from a habitual world, especially with frontman Nick Allbrook’s lyrical approach. “Nick tied it together, not only to the world but how it feels in Australia to live in an isolated city. It’s the state of the world and it’s scary at the moment. Although the album is a little dark at times I think there is still the underlying good fun that comes from a couple friends making music. It’s an emotional album.”
With The Weather, Pond have truly cemented themselves as their own band, certainly away from the geographical categorisations that critics made upon their breakthrough. The best thing they could’ve done was keep doing what they were doing, and they’ve gone and done even more.
Pond play Thekla on 21st June, with The Weather out now via Marathon Artists. Check out ‘Paint Me Silver’ below.