Matt Pond PA: Several Arrows Later (2005)
The first album I picked up, and probably the one I listen to most frequently, is 2005's Several Arrows Later. It kicks off with a pair of Pond's finest stand-alone tracks, the gorgeous "Halloween" and the rousing, infectious "So Much Trouble." Both of these are the sort of things I'll cue up for company, including them on pretty much any playlist, as they're delightful, catchy, and impossible not to love.
Beyond that, the album bounces around between gentle, mid-tempo tunes ("Brooklyn Stars") and more jaunty rockers (like the title track), but as a package it's a terrific little album, sprightly yet melancholy. As with most of his work, Pond seems to have a knack for consistently tossing off a sweet adult-oriented pop track which sounds like the perfect accompaniment for a walk in the woods on a cool autumn afternoon.
My other fave is probably the harder-rocking follow-up, Last Light, which has a bit more edge; but you can't go wrong with pretty much any release from the hugely prolific outfit. (Pond also has some great covers out there, offering nice reinterpretations of everyone from Neutral Milk Hotel to INXS to Lindsey Buckingham.)
Here's the video for "So Much Trouble":