At the risk of sounding corny, it’s never a bad thing to wear your heart on your sleeve. On their debut album, TV Baby, Toronto’s Pony were writing songs about the power you can find in being alone. That album showcased the bands, singer/guitarist Sam Bielanski and multi-instrumentalist Matty Morand, ability to craft an irresistible hook. With their new album Velveteen, out now via Take This To Heart records, Pony open up some, let us all in and definitely put their hearts out on their sleeves for everyone to see. The album is front to back ravishing. It’s a summertime record that is overflowing with a dozen of hooks seemingly by the second. With all that joy though there’s no sacrificing any actual real emotion. Think the love child of Matthew Sweet and Veruca Salt and you’ll start to get the idea of what this is all about. Pure pop bliss tempered with a grounded honesty that is undeniable.
The word “triumphant” comes to mind as soon as the opening notes of album starter “Tres Jolie” comes on. The track is an absolute blast. Bielanski’s voice is soft yet powerful and it flows perfectly above Morand’s driving rhythm. Lyrically the song jumps between a sincere earnestly as in the chorus when Bielanski sings “I wanna kiss you/Iwanna make you mine” to the verses when she says she has a, “Rasp in my voice from talking/Trash all night.” It’s all very sweet and also feels real. “Haunted House” kicks off with an almost Gin Blossom-esque guitar line but moments before it becomes Pony’s own thing. “French Class” is an Ivy adjacent pop extravaganza. Stuttered hi hats over a continuous beat with the most glittery guitar affectations.
There’s nothing like a record coming out to signal the arrival of a new season. With Velveteen, Pony is signalling, not only the start of summer but possibly the best summer of your life. The songs that Bielanski and Morand have crafted here feel so new and nostalgic at the same time. They’ve definitely flown them in from the same dimension that has treated us to the best of all the Teenage Fanclub‘s and Posies’ records out there. It’s all such a huge treat and will be on repeat for the rest of the year for sure. Keep that head up and proudly wear your heart on your sleeve. While some may think that’s corny, at least you’ll know the magnificent pop duo of Pony have your back.
Order Velveteen by Pony HERE
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