The Natural Lines Release “Artificial Moonlight”

The Natural Lines debut video for "Artificial Moonlight" The track is off the band's self-titled release, available via Bella Union
The Natural Lines debut video for "Artificial Moonlight"

The Natural Lines have dropped a new video for “Artificial Moonlight,” the track is off their self-titled debut album out now via Bella Union . The video which was directed, shot, & edited by Jesse Dufault.

On the track and video The Natural Lines’ Matt Pond says:

I had a vision of a stolen moon in the back seat of my friend’s crappy convertible. So we had to make it come to life.

I built the moon in my backyard. I wanted a two-dimensional, basement-theater moon — something straight out of Waiting for Guffman.

We shot the first night on Pine Road in New Paltz. The police shut us down because we had an SUV with a generator and two big stage lights attached to the roof rack pointing back at the convertible. They said they could see us from miles away — a moon thief chasing an earthbound spaceship.

The second night we filmed all around town in Kingston, NY. We clipped cameras to the car and used mostly ambient light. Nobody at the Quick Check cared, none of the cops in town cared. All around us were flashes of lightning from an imminent storm, better than any special effects we could’ve imagined.

In the video, in the song and in real life — we keep chasing this dream of making music. The best part about this project was shooting it over a couple hot summer nights with a skeleton crew and a few great friends.

The album was recorded with close collaborators and friends over a period that saw Pond make vital adjustments to his life, its stealth emergence reflects his desire to set a fresh pace for himself and come from somewhere new, somewhere more open.

Matt Pond is now based in Kingston, NY, with his partner and wild dog Willa. On the album Matt explains, “It was something different from the start. I wanted to write as purely as I could. Instead of getting stuck in the ‘tour, write an album, release an album, tour’ cycle, which is not a natural way of writing or living, I wanted to write an album and when it was done I wanted to make sure it was done. I didn’t want this feeling of, ‘Oh, we didn’t have time’, or, ‘I don’t know whether I believe in the songs but it’s coming out anyway.’ I used to be always racing to the finish line, but I’m not anymore.”

For Matt, the call to ring the changes came with the recognition of “a certain nihilism or narcissism” involved in making music. “In some ways, you have to get in your own head and I think I went too far with that, with drinking and shutting people out. In something that I believe is collaborative, it’s not helpful.”

For Matt, the album follows two decades’ worth of Matt Pond PA records and soundtrack works. In a career he once described as “a series of benign mistakes,” Matt travelled far, moving from his band’s starting point in Philadelphia to Florida, Oakland and beyond while releasing 14 well-received albums. In 2017, he declared his intent to retire the Matt Pond PA name, though it lived on briefly in the reissue of The State Of Gold and EPs such as Free Fall, a tribute to Philadelphia.

Among a revolving cast, one constant presence in his work has been Chris Hansen, who plays guitar, bass, keys, saxophone and vocals on The Natural Lines’ debut. Matt’s partner, Anya Marina, contributes vocals. Other band members number Hilary James (cello/vocals), Kyle Kelly-Yahner (drums), Louie Lino (keys), Sarah Hansen (horns), Sean Hansen (drums/bass), Kat Murphy (vocals) and, also on vocals, MJ Murphy, for whom Matt brims with praise: “She can do anything she wants to musically.”

The Natural Lines 2023 Tour Dates

05.03 – Somerville, MA @ Crystal Ballroom at the Somerville Theatre
05.05 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
05.06 – Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head On Stage (at 1:00pm)
5.07 – Washington, D.C. @ Black Cat
05.09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
05.10 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Hard Rock Cafe
05.11 – Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
05.12 – Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop
05.13 – Millersville, PA @ Phantom Power


Looking for something new to listen to?

Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.