Sunday, September 12, 2021

Pond are bursting with post-lockdown frustration and social media fatigue just like the rest of us in single and music video ‘Human Touch’

In the long lead-up to their ninth album release, Pond have been releasing cracker after cracker of a new single.

What is striking is how different they all are from each other, from the fast-paced disco track ‘Pink Lunettes’ to the funky indie track ‘America’s Cup’, and the more recent relaxed and ponderous ‘Toast’.

This new single ‘Human Touch’ shows a deeper edge and particularly suggests a desire to push even further.

After eight albums there is a risk of repeating yourself or getting comfortable but if these singles are anything to go by there is no risk of that with Pond. ‘Human Touch’ sounds like a potentially obvious ‘of the time’ subject matter in the age of living behind screens and living through covid lockdowns. However, Pond manage to provide a fresh twist it and deliver an exciting hype track full of attitude alongside another fun DIY style music video. 

Reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem in their heyday, frontman Allbrook sings his lyrics with a combined matter-of-factness and colourful edge over a simple enough but stylishly layered musical background. Low, rumbling fuzzy bass, quick and clean acoustic drums beats, and a playful range of synth textures work together to create a dark and enticing mood. This is matched with Allbrook’s expressive lyrics, calling out for human connection and feeling.

"I need some human connection, If you're not too busy I've been looking around so long" - on the one hand, he's crying out with frustration and desire to connect with people on a real level, and yet there is the realisation that he may be happy where he's trapped, hiding behind a screen where we're now so used to being.

This tension is evident from the accompanying music video co-directed by Duncan Wright and Allbrook himself. The iconic frontman is shown dancing alone in an alley next to a chunky retro television set displaying another him, calling out for human connection and the need for "static" all at once. It would be cause for praise alone to release as catchy and enticing a single as this but it's reassuring to know that a band as established are still looking to push themselves and perhaps push audiences with what they want to say, making us ask ourselves if behind the screen is where we secretly would rather stay.

Pond are due to release their ninth studio album '9' on 1 October 2021.

Aoife McMahon

Image: MATSU

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