© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

M. Ward's 'Hold Time' A Collage Of Rock History

Matt Ward, better known as M. Ward, is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer from Portland, Ore. With a whisper of a voice and a well-developed style of acoustic guitar playing, he could easily be pegged as a folk singer — and he did come up through Portland's folk scene. But his sixth album, Hold Time, points in many musical directions.

When Ward writes songs, he takes bits of his earliest 4-track recordings and mixes them up with newer material. Just as he travels back and forth across his own creative timeline, he moves deftly through the history of rock, country, blues and pop.

Ward's new album is filled with musical touchstones and lyrical references. On "Never Had Nobody Like You," a Gary Glitter beat, fuzzed-out guitar and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon meet Ward's most recent musical project, an indie-pop band with actress Zooey Deschanel called She & Him. (Here, Deschanel sings the harmonies.)

Ward doesn't only look to the past for songwriting inspiration. On his new CD, he reimagines a song that was a hit for Buddy Holly. Many artists have covered "Rave On," but Ward inverts it, replacing Holly's original rock 'n' roll hiccup with sunny, Brian Wilson-style studio immersion. He completely changes the nature of the song in an appealing way. A skillful guitar picker, Ward underplays here, and it serves the song perfectly.

For someone so good at mastering the signature details of songs and genres, the challenge is putting it all into something that sounds original and consistent, making it just opaque enough to create mystery while acknowledging the legends. M. Ward has gotten that down to an art, if not a science.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Meredith Ochs

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.