“Everything is backwards and opposite to me,” says Matt Pond. It’s a generalization that comes when he’s discussing geography during our recent interview, and it’s an apt one: His long-time band is named Matt Pond PA, an ode to Pennsylvania, but he’s from New Hampshire. He was more inspired to write songs with nature motifs when he was living in New York City than he has been since he’s been living in Kingston in the bucolic Hudson Valley.

The notion of contrasting elements is at the core of “Call and Response,” the new EP by Matt Pond PA and Alexa Rose, a singer-songwriter from West Virginia whom NPR said “sounds like the soul child of Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton.”

Pond says: “My voice feels like a bulldozer to me and her voice is like a gentle tool. But even though it’s quiet she has a lot of power. It’s kind of cool to blend those things. There’s nothing better than hearing twins  or brothers harmonize but we’re not twins.”

The 5-song release includes a cover of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”; “Halloween 2,” a sequel to its namesake on “Several Arrows Later” (2005); and “St Lou,” a tribute to the comedian Nikki Glaser (Pond doubles as her tour manager).

Last March, Pond, who got his start in Philadelphia, released an EP under the name The Natural Lines, but now he’s back to using the Matt Pond PA moniker, which was the name on early to mid aughts indie folk/chamber pop touchstone albums like “Emblems,” “Several Arrows Later” and “Last Light.”

Here are some highlights of our conversation with Pond, including what to expect at upcoming Matt Pond PA shows with Rose at Union Pool in Brooklyn (Saturday, Feb 17) and Johnny Brenda’s in Philly (Saturday, Feb 24) and the challenge of running an independent career in the age of streaming.

What did you like about collaborating with Alexa Rose?

I like that she just knows what she wants, I think that’s really great when you’re collaborating with someone, because you define the boundaries better that way, and we found the boundaries. We didn’t agree on everything, which is cool too. A decent argument, a well-spirited argument with good intentions is amazing. 

What type of setlist will you be playing on these dates?

I’m focusing on Matt Pond PA songs from the past, people’s favorites that I kind of know, and just really trying to get into that and a few songs from the EP, and that’s probably it.

Will you be working with Alexa in the future?

I have no idea (laughs). It’s weird, because you don’t. … It’s pretty hard to find time and plan things these days as an independent artist or musician. You’re just kind of running forward. If I had time and she has time and it works out, sure. I would be into it but I don’t want to alter her trajectory or my trajectory. This was a cool thing because when it happened we had time.

How have the landscape and the community of the Hudson Valley influenced you creatively?

I’m a little reclusive and that’s always been the way. The cool thing about New York [City] is the juxtaposition: I would dream of nature. I don’t know, I think I sing about nature less [now] and more about what’s in my head and stories. Everything is backwards and opposite to me. I love being here. Just hiking the Catskills, you feel like you’re a king. You get to go and be in the middle of nowhere. I get to do this with my dog and I feel like the luckiest person alive.

What challenges or opportunities have presented themselves to you as the music industry has shifted to streaming and social media since you started out?

It’s hard to say. We have access to tools that as just me I can release the song everywhere digitally. As just myself, I can make and produce albums. Distribution isn’t as much of a thing as it used to be. I don’t have the money of a label, but then again, small labels really don’t promote that much. It’s kind of out there and you see what happens. I have no idea. Instead of kind of getting bogged down by worrying about how to try to figure out the ever-changing back end of these apps and things, I’m just going for it. When these things first came out, you measured yourself by the numbers, but I can only do what I’m doing. I love doing this so I’m not going to let the internet or streaming faze me enough to stop me.

Even though my reach might not be as great as other people, I’m in control and nobody lets me down. I’ve worked with amazing people and it’s all great, but I don’t have to ask anyone for anything.

How did you come to start working for Nikki Glaser?

My wife (laughs). Whenever I say it I feel like Borat or something. My wife and Nikki are great, great friends, and Nikki started doing a theater tour, and I have all this useless knowledge — I used to do lights at the Troc [in Philadelphia] — from touring and touring. I know everything about a venue or a theater. So I started tour managing and started taking pictures. I never shot photos for anyone and I don’t really want to shoot photos for anyone else. With Anya being friends with Nikki, I started doing this. The last song on the album on the EP is for Nikki, it’s called “St Lou,” she’s from St Louis. If I’m doing something it just gets in my head and comes out as a song. She’s great. She’s a really amazing person and a great friend.

Is there a song or album you’ve recorded that you feel represents you best?

I mean, you know, I would say “Emblems” or “St Lou.” I think people are nostalgic and you can’t help being nostalgic. People are kind of stuck to the time when we first got to them. The hope would be something else connects. But we’re not a new band and I’m not 20 years old, so there’s kind of realities to this thing.

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