ARTIST: M WARD
ALBUM: POST WAR
RELEASE: 4 September (UK)
DOWNLOAD: Chinese Translation
FOR FANS OF: NEKO CASE, BRIGHT EYES, MY MORNING JACKET
M Ward approaches his albums the way Robert De Niro does an acting role; as methodical as a brick layer he gets into their skin, and creates something so authentic, self contained and absorbing that the listener is transfixed, orbiting around the record sucked in by its gravity. M Ward's last album, 'Transistor Radio' was a homage to the golden age or radio, and 'Post-War' his fifth record is an equally timeless collection of songs, full of interesting nooks and crannies to explore over multiple listens.
If you have ever heard Matt Ward, you will know all about that voice: part honey and cigarettes, part Nina Simone and Tom Waits. 'Post War' opens with vocals and guitar, but the whole band kicks in on the wonderful 'Right In The Head' containing the lyric, presumably about our political masters, 'I hope he's right in the head / Even if he has to wrong someone". The next song features Neko Case on the Daniel Johnton cover of 'To Go Home', a rollicking live favourite faithfully reproduced on record.
After the first few songs, the record turns to lo-fi again, and all the better for it. M Ward is a master of the hushed, delicate understatement. 'Requiem' hovers between joy and regret, Chinese Translation features a hypnotic atmospheric melody that is typical of Ward. Throughout the brief running time Ward doesn't set a foot wrong and before you know it you'll have hit the repeat button. It's a perfect album for the coming autumn days as the evenings draw in and the leaves fall Ward's hushed, weathered voice can wrap around you like a blanket.
"To Go Home" (Daniel Johnston Cover ft. Neko Case)
M. Ward :: Post-War
M. Ward :: Right In The Head