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M. Ward

Transfiguration Of Vincent - 2024 Reissue

    In 2003, everything broke open for Ward with the release of Transfiguration of Vincent. Critically lauded and long beloved, Pitchfork hailed it as an album that “broadcasts timelessness and defies genre constraints,” and Slant placed it on their list of the best albums of the 2000s. On Transfiguration of Vincent, Ward’s elegant fingerpicking, evocative croon, and heartrending lyricism came into full bloom, casting a spell so powerful that even a song as universal as David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” felt not only new but irrevocably his. One of the most cherished albums in the Merge catalog, Transfiguration of Vin- cent is both a great place to begin your love affair with M. Ward and a deep, stunningly realized work that listeners have returned to over and over again for 20 years.


    SIDE A

    1. Transfiguration No. 1
    2. Vincent O’Brien
    3. Sad, Sad Song
    4. Undertaker
    5. Duet For Guitars No. 3
    6. Outta My Head
    7. Involuntary

    SIDE B

    8. Helicopter
    9. Poor Boy, Minor Key
    10. Fool Says
    11. Get To The Table On Time
    12. A Voice At The End Of The Line
    13. Dead Man
    14. Let’s Dance
    15. Transfiguration No. 2

    M. Ward

    Duet For Guitars #2 - 2024 Reissue

      Duet for Guitars #2 introduced us to M. Ward’s characteristic rasp and fingerpicking prowess. More minimal in scope than future records, the songs run the gamut from lullabies to rocking declarations of love. Released on Co-Dependent Records in 1999, one of the initial 1,000 copies found its way to Howe Gelb, who re-released it in 2000 on Ow Om. It went out of print and remained a hard-to-find piece of the M. Ward catalog until 2007, when it was reissued on Merge with three new tracks. More than an origin story, Duet for Guitars #2 is a beautiful, assured album that is sure to make lo-fi and Americana aficionados swoon, to say nothing of M. Ward fans new and old.

      In 2003, everything broke open for Ward with the release of Transfiguration of Vincent. Critically lauded and long beloved, Pitchfork hailed it as an album that “broadcasts timelessness and defies genre constraints,” and Slant placed it on their list of the best albums of the 2000s. On Transfiguration of Vincent, Ward’s elegant fingerpicking, evocative croon, and heartrending lyricism came into full bloom, casting a spell so powerful that even a song as universal as David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” felt not only new but irrevocably his. One of the most cherished albums in the Merge catalog, Transfiguration of Vin- cent is both a great place to begin your love affair with M. Ward and a deep, stunningly realized work that listeners have returned to over and over again for 20 years.


      Duet For Guitars #2
      Beautiful Car
      Fishing Boat Song
      Scene From #12
      Good News
      The Crooked Spine
      Look Me Over
      Who May Be Lazy
      It Won’t Happen Twice
      He Asked Me To Be A Snake & Live Underground
      Song From Debby’s Stairs
      It Was A Beautiful Car
      Were You There?
      Not A Gang
      Duet For Guitars #1

      M. Ward

      Supernatural Thing

        "Several times, as I listened to M Ward's Supernatural Thing, I asked myself what year it was, was it 1952, and was I listening to a track from the Harry Smith Anthology? Was it 1972, and was I eavesdropping on the recording session for After the Gold Rush? No, it's 2023, and M Ward is one of the special contemporary artists who invite such questions. Ward has clearly mastered the whole vocabulary of American popular music and made serious decisions about how to employ it for his own ends. What Ward shares with Harry Smith's artists and Neil Young is a context of musical and human values: authenticity and intimacy. Supernatural Thing's original songs sound freshly pulled from the ground, with a little earth sticking to them. Ward's lyric delivery has that slight rawness the ear loves, and his voice has quiet dignity and great tenderness. Supernatural Thing is an open-hearted, inviting album.

        The album's guest stars -- First Aid Kit, Shovels & Rope, Scott McMicken, Neko Case, Jim James, others -- enliven the album with surprises. On "Too Young to Die," the women's voices in First Aid Kit spread a light frosting over the melody, and their Beach Boyslike chorus on "Engine 5" makes the song sound like an instant hit. Eight of the album's ten songs are Ward originals. There's an unusual Bowie choice, "I Can't Give Everything Away" from Blackstar, and a live rendition of Daniel Johnston's 'Story of an Artist.'" -By James Cushing.

        Both as a solo artist and as one-half of She & Him, M. Ward became one of the defining voices of the American indie landscape in the 2000s, earning fans and critical acclaim for his distinctive brand of breezy West Coast Americana which pulled from folk, country, blues, pop, and experimental indie rock elements. Ward established himself with warm, analog- minded releases like 2003's Transfiguration of Vincent and 2006's Post-War before joining forces with singer/ actress Zooey Deschanel to form the highly successful indie pop duo She & Him in 2008. Over the following decade, Ward split his time between projects, releasing a 2009 album with indie supergroup Monsters of Folk, several highprofile albums with Deschanel including She & Him's Columbia- issued 2014 set Classics, and critically acclaimed solo releases like 2009's Hold Time, 2012's A Wasteland Companion, and 2018's What a Wonderful Industry. Ward kicked off the next decade with a deeply atmospheric set called Migration Stories and a Billie Holiday covers album Think of Spring most recently.


        Barry says: Another suite of brittle balladry and swimming harmonies from the brilliant M. Ward, riding effortlessly through folky melodies, country atmospherics and Ward's distinctive melodic sensibilities, joined by some stellar guest stars to boot! Lovely.


        Too Young To Die Feat. First Aid Kit
        Supernatural Thing
        New Kerrang Feat. Scott Mcmicken
        Dedication Hour Feat.
        Neko Case And Gabriel Kahane
        I Can't Give Everything Away (Feat. Jim James And Kelly Pratt)
        Engine 5 (Feat. First Aid Kit)
        Mr. Dixon (Feat. Shovels & Rope)
        For Good
        Story Of An Artist

        Jose Medeles Feat. M Ward, Marisa Anderson & Chris Funk

        Railroad Cadences & Melancholic Anthems

          Led by drummer Jose Medeles (Breeders, 1939 Ensemble, Revival Drum Shop), Railroad Cadences & Melancholic Anthems is a drummer's tribute to guitarist and DIY iconoclast John Fahey.

          Joined for a series of guitar and drum duets with M. Ward, experimental guitarist Marisa Anderson, and Chris Funk (Decemberists, Stephen Malkmus), it's a genuinely honorifc project, featuring not Fahey compositions, but rather a series of improvised rendezvous inspired and informed by his looseness and rhythmic idiosyncrasies. Recording in the comfortable setting of Bocce Recording in Vancouver, WA, in 2020, these duets are playful and spiritually deep, presented with snapshot clarity Medeles likens to the recordings of Alan Lomax or Chris Strachwitz, 'who boldly captured feld recording of Southern chain gangs and juke joint raconteurs decades ago. The result here is similar: pure and honest recordings.'


          Please Send To J.F. With Marisa Anderson
          Richness Of Peace With M. Ward
          Golden With Chris Funk
          The Paper Snake With Marisa Anderson
          Something Else With M. Ward
          Before & After With Marisa Anderson
          Juxtaposition With Chris Funk
          Mid The Ice & Snow With Marisa Anderson
          Illumination With Chris Funk
          Takoma With Marisa Anderson
          Voice Of The Turtle With Chris Funk

          M. Ward

          Think Of Spring

            “I first heard Lady In Satin in a mega-shopping mall somewhere in San Francisco. I was about 20 years old and didn’t know much about Billie’s records or her life or how her voice changed over the years. Anyway, the sound was coming from the other side of the mall and I remember mistaking her voice for a beautiful perfectly distorted electric guitar - some other-world thing floating there on this strange mournful ocean of strings and I was hooked for life. Ten years later in 2006 I recorded an electric guitar instrumental version of “I’m A Fool To Want You” for my album Post-War. In 2018 I performed a concert in LA. of all the songs from Lady In Satin as a quintet and began preparing guitar arrangements for the recordings compiled on this record - Think of Spring. The title comes from a poem written in 1924 by Jane Brown-Thompson that eventually became “I Get Along Without You Very Well” in 1938 - the first song here. The conceit of Think of Spring is to filter the songs and strings from Lady In Satin through a single acoustic guitar using various alternate tunings and a minimal amount of textures and studio manipulation. most of the songs were recorded on an analog Tascam four track. Think of Spring is inspired by Billie Holiday, Ray Ellis, J.J. Johnson, John Fahey and Robert Johnson. Proceeds from this record will benefit Inner-City Arts & Donors Choose via PLUS1 for Black Lives Fund.” - M. Ward

            TRACK LISTING

            I Get Along Without You Very Well
            For Heavens Sake
            It’s Easy To Remember
            You’ve Changed
            Violets For Your Furs
            For All We Know
            But Beautiful
            All The Way
            I’m A Fool To Want You
            I’ll Be Around
            You Don’t Know What Love Is

            Herb Ward / Bob Brady & The Con Chords

            Honest To Goodness / Everybody's Goin' To The Love-In

              Two classic floor fillers from the DNSC record label.

              Featuring Herb Ward’s 1968 RCA release that goes for around £200 if you can find a copy.

              A Catacombs Club favourite that emphasizes Ward’s deep soulful vocal with a gorgeous call-andresponse bridge that leads into a truly uplifting chorus.

              Backed with Bob Brady And The Con Chords’ blueeyed soul classic from the same year.

              Often compared in style to Smokey Robinson, ‘Love In’ is a brass-led scorcher with a pulsating back beat that could have been a Motown 45.

              Both tracks remastered from the original sound sources for maximum dancefloor effect.

              TRACK LISTING

              Herb Ward - Honest To Goodness
              Bob Brady & The Con Chords - Everybody's Goin' To The Love - In

              M. Ward

              Migration Stories

                A prolific writer, producer and performer, M. Ward has established himself as one of modern American music’s most unique and versatile voices. For his tenth album he journeyed to Quebec, Canada to work with Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry, producer/mixer Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine) and Teddy Impakt. Together at Arcade Fire’s Montreal studios they recorded a collection of 11 songs inspired by stories of human migration.

                M. Ward’s music has always felt intricate, intimate and other worldly. With Migration Stories he breathes beautiful life into vignettes of human flight, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy as it reckons with a world that feels more divided than ever before, even as its inhabitants grow more inextricably linked by the day.

                TRACK LISTING

                Migration Of Souls
                Heaven’s Nail And Hammer
                Coyote Mary’s Traveling Show
                Independent Man
                Stevens’ Snow Man
                Unreal City
                Real Silence
                Along The Santa Fe Trail
                Chamber Music
                Rio Drone

                Brown Irvin

                Run Me That Soul

                After inaugurating the label with a tape in 2015, our local friend Richard Brown (AKA Brown Irvin) returns to Motion Ward with an oblique two-track 12" entitled "Run Me That Soul". "Locution" flexes a wobbly equilibrium of dubbed dancefloor energy and amorphous acid while "Overcast" coats the B Side in a smeared gradient of ambient wash and shape-shifting stasis. A persuasive pair of parallel worlds for winding up and winding down.

                RIYL: Ghostride The Drift, Huerco S, City-2 St. Giga, Caveman LSD etc etc.

                Being lost in the outer recesses of the solar system never sounded so good!

                TRACK LISTING

                A1. Locution
                B1. Overcast

                M. Ward

                What A Wonderful Industry

                  Last June M.Ward surprised fans with the digital release of his ninth solo album, What A Wonderful Industry. The record finally receives a proper physical release via M.Ward Records. Over the last decade Ward has released a string of acclaimed solo albums, as well as six LPs with Zooey Deschanel in the duo She and Him. Ward is also a member of the group Monsters of Folk alongside My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, and Mike Mogis, as well as a producer on albums for Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis, and Carlos Forster.

                  Via Ward: “This is a record inspired by people in the industry I have known - heroes and villains in equal measure. There’s some beautiful moments when you travel for a living, and I’m grateful for being part of an industry that’s taken me around the world so many times - but you quickly learn there’s a perfectly imperfect balance of cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals in the zoo. This record visits the most memorable characters. There’s a lot of very inspirational people I’ve had the pleasure to work with but there are also a few I wish I’d never met. It all tragically ends with an imaginary Griffin Mill-inspired murder ballad. This album is a reminder to keep your friends close, your enemies closer and don’t let the ones that just need an extra couple hours of therapy bring you down. Anyway I hope you like it. All names have been changed to protect the innocent".

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Side A:
                  1. Arrivals Chorus
                  2. Miracle Man
                  3. Shark
                  4. Motorcycle Ride
                  5. El Rancho
                  6. Sit Around The House

                  Side B:
                  1. Kind Of Human
                  2. A Mind Is The Worst Thing To Waste
                  3. Return To Neptune's Net
                  4. Poor Tom
                  5. War & Peace
                  6. Bobby

                  M. Ward returns with a stunning new album, ‘More Rain’, released on Bella Union. Ward has released a string of acclaimed solo albums over the past several years, along with five albums with Zooey Deschanel as She & Him and a 2009 collaborative album with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis under the moniker Monsters Of Folk.

                  In addition to his celebrated work as a musician, Ward is an accomplished producer, handling those duties for such luminaries as Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis and Carlos Forster as well as his own projects.

                  M. Ward knows how to live with rain. Having spent the last decadeand- a-half based in the perennially damp Portland, Oregon, the singer-songwriter and producer has learned how to shine through the soggy gloom by simply embracing its inevitability. For Ward, there is inspiration in a dark sky and harmony in foreboding winds. With his new album ‘More Rain’ he has made a true gotta-stay-indoors, rainyseason record that looks upwards through the weather while reflecting on his past.

                  “I think one of the biggest mysteries of America right now is this: How are we able to process unending bad news on Page One and then go about our lives the way the style section portrays us?” says Ward. “There must be a place in our brains that allows us to take a bird’s-eye view of humanity, and I think music is good at helping people - myself included - go to that place.”

                  This album, Ward’s eighth solo affair, finds the artist picking up the tempo and volume a bit from his previous release, 2012’s ‘A Wasteland Companion’. Where that record introspectively looked in from the outside, ‘More Rain’ finds Ward on the inside, gazing out. Begun four years ago and imagined initially as a DIY doo-wop album that would feature Ward experimenting with layering his own voice, it soon branched out in different directions, a move that he credits largely to his collaborators here who include REM.’s Peter Buck, Neko Case, kd lang, The Secret Sisters and Joey Spampinato of NRBQ.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Andy says: More warm 50's/60's vibes from the golden voiced maestro. Another enveloping record where everything feels just right. Great songs, obviously.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  (More Rain)
                  Pirate Dial
                  Time Won’t Wait Up
                  I’m Listening (Child’s Theme)
                  Girl From Conejo Valley
                  Slow Driving Man
                  You’re So Good To Me
                  Little Nany
                  I’m Going Higher


                  It's Not Necessarily Your Height

                    Eleven tracks of leftfield post rock, that brings to mind a more quiet and controlled Godspeed with a nod towards Brian Eno. Rumbling lo-fi beats / pulses with Satie-esque piano movements and ambient shifts.

                    Clifford T Ward

                    Singer Songwriter

                      Recorded in 1972 for John Peel's "Dandelion" label, this was Ward's recording debut prior to his major hit "Gaye" on Charisma a year or two later. It's an easy going and melodious affair and deserves a listen. The tragic circumstances of his life today are in sharp contrast to the wistful hope and gentle nature of these tracks.

                      Matthew Ward

                      Matthew Ward

                        Acoustic based singer songwriter, think Nick Drake and Elliott Smith and you'll be on the right tip.

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