In a perfect world, M. Ward is listened to on a backyard porch overlooking the Bayou on a hot day, a cold jug of Mississippi Mud in one hand and a fishing rod in the other. Strangely though, M. Ward is from Portland and not Baton Rouge. With a raspy croon, M. Ward spins dusty Americana yarns with help from his acoustic guitar, trusty harmonica, and a tin-pan alley piano.
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“It's still hard to believe that we will most likely never hear a new Sonic Youth record, but at least the blow is softened somewhat by the fact that Lee Ranaldo's new solo record is really good. more at flavorpill.com
Though he came up in New York's art-punk underground with his Sonic Youth bandmate Thurston Moore and has a long history of making noisy, experimental solo records, Lee Ranaldo has always been the member of the band who contributed the most straightforwardly melodic songs—and the only one who could reliably carry a tune with his voice. more at chicagoreader.com
M. Ward was a talented, much-beloved indie singer-songwriter before he became the talented, much-beloved indie singer-songwriter by the side of Zooey Deschanel in She & Him. That duo tends toward softer, wispier strains than Ward does on his own, but his sound still slots in well with aspects of folk from the ’70s. more at avclub.com
While waiting to speak to M. Ward on the phone about his new album A Wasteland Companion and his role as an all-around indie rock guru, I saunter around the driveway to the cabin in the woods where I’ve been house-sitting and rock Ward’s beautiful warm analog sounds digitally through a cheap pair of earbuds attached to my coin-sized iPod shuffle. more at chicagoinnerview.com