When I was first introduced to Matt Ward a few years ago there was something so soothing and easy about his voice and guitar playing. I felt as if I was laying in the backyard on a hammock on a comfortable spring day. Transfigurations of Vincent was the album and Ive nearly worn out my copy since then. It still stands as my favorite M Ward album and I dont see a reason to unseat it from that throne.
Insert Post War.
At this point my listening to MWard is very common so I was very excited to get his latest release, due out August 22 from Merge Records, in the mail recently. I cracked it open and gave it an immediate spin. I had been looking forward to this one for awhile since it is the first album with a full backing band for Matt. I expected less because of that. However my expectations were quickly crushed as I found the first 3 tunes not only excellent but that they needed repeating, and fast. Throughout the album M Ward takes his “casual stroll through the neighborhood” sound and beefs it up with solid surrounding instruments. This is not to say that previous releases lacked in musical sound or instrumentation but that any gaps that were previously there are now quite full.
Chinese Translation is the song I cant manage to get out of my head right now though. I think its an instant M Ward fave. Other highlights are certainly the more revved up sound of “Requiem”, and the brilliant cover of Daniel Johnstons, “To Go Home”. So, if you are a fan of M Ward, grab this the second its released. Its one of the better ones Ive heard in awhile.