I wanted to draw y’all’s attention to an excellent interview with M. Ward in the Chicago Tribune, reviewing his fantastic new Post-War album. If you recall, I posted a track (“To Go Home,” a Daniel Johnston cover with background vocals by Neko Case) from his new album a few weeks ago, and now his Post-War album is out — and it is mind-bogglingly good.
The Trib reviewer (Greg Kot) masterfully uses his words to capture the rich mood of the album: “Ward folds his skills into songs of unusual depth and the kind of humid lived-in atmosphere once routinely found on old Roy Orbison, Billie Holiday and doo-wop records. Ward’s albums live in the room in which they were created; the listener can almost feel the presence of the musicians through the speakers.” He is spot-on in expressing what I would want to say, and “humid” is a great word to describe the album. There is such a permeating sense of substance and immediacy to these tracks.
I’d say this album is definitely in the running for my top 10 list this year; it’s got the weight & beauty to sustain multiple listenings over the years.
I appreciate the depth of musical styles that Ward blends together, from the warm ragtime post-war sound of last-call tunes like “Afterword/Rag,” to the harmonies of the Beach Boys (notable on tracks like “Magic Trick,” co-written with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James) and the gentle folk storytelling of “Chinese Translation” (video here). Several of my friends are raving about it too (here or here), and the accolades are well-deserved.
LISTEN: Post-War – M. Ward
(one of the most beautiful songs on the disc; honey rich, lovely, moody, sexy, fantastic. Begs to be listened to –really listened to– with your eyes closed)