Published on 5.10.2011 by SFCritic
On probably the only sober minute of a booze-soaked getaway to the North Coast I had the pleasure of overhearing a solo violinist’s rendition of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes’s “Home” outside of a coffee shop on the edge of the Mendocino Headlands. A few hours later I had the added pleasure of hotboxing a sauna with him while he gave me a Tarot reading.
Anders Mattson (aka Anders Ponders) is a 20-something street performer who lives on the beach and in his car near the Mendocino Headlands. Originally from Minnesota, he has been traveling around the country getting by on the money dropped in his violin case.
His EP Nodes of Overtones, is surprisingly polished, unique and incredible. Every instrument on every track– including the violin, piano, synth and guitar– are performed by Anders and layered together to create melodic, genuine and idealistically sweet love songs reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens, Ugly Cassanova and Elliot Smith.
The opening track “The Discus Incident,” is striking, beautiful and just plain cute. “Isn’t it better?/To be young forever/That way we’ll never get older together” he sings softly over bouncing guitars and percussion.
Another gem is “Icarus,” which opens with a sultry, exotic beat but quickly turns into an adorable hipster-rap about cheesy fries, good and evil, and flying too close to the sun with wax wings.
Hopefully one day we will get to hear a lot more of Anders Ponders. Until then when you see him on the corner in San Francisco be sure to drop a couple bills or buy him a drink, he deserves it.