Kelsey Simpkins

July 24, 2015

While Pony, a folk rock band out of NE Minneapolis, is new, their sound is old, one that reckons back to distant times. In an age which now depends so heavily on all things electronic, Pony hones and explores an acoustic style rich with string and vocal harmonies. Their first release, a self-titled EP, highlights compositional talent and a desire to explore the past in an effort to remake it anew. Calling Pony simply “folk” music would be inaccurate, as there is an element of something almost Celtic about their sound, especially as they start off with “Sight.” Yet the addition of electric guitar and modern techniques somehow classifies them also as alternative, with a smattering of rock hidden under heavier layers of strings. This combination initiates the EP with a joyful sound, a celebration of sorts. The balance and play between vocals, guitars, percussion, and strings is a treat for the ear, tickling senses often unused while listening to an average folk or rock album. The vision of two, Clifton Nesseth (vocals, violin, guitar) and Paul Sauey (vocals, guitar, bass pedals, cello), Pony EP is the culmination of many years of collaboration and thought. This depth is evident in the investment in lush duets between strings, as well as voices. Like the earth they aim to embody, their work feels natural, a seed long planted now come to fruition. It’s comfortable, easy to listen to, and enriching to the soul. In “On Wind,” there’s a sense of quite delight in the violin, a calming tone to the repetitive guitar, and almost a touch of Bon Iver or S. Carey when they harmonize over “some winds are always changing.” And although it’s without a distortion pedal, they jam out in the middle; the love of their craft communicated unabashedly. Teaming up with friends to add percussion and additional vocals, Pony elicits a community of sound. Unlike the one-man-bands of today’s music world that rely on electronics, Pony relies on human connections, and the sweet fruits of personal collaboration. Harkening back to tradition and their own roots, their EP is worthy of the time past that has led to its release.dd & Manage Items.

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