New M. Ward Single: “Primitive Girl”

Earlier this week, M. Ward posted the first single – “Primitive Girl” – off of his forthcoming album A Wasteland Companion.  The album, which is out April 10th on Merge and marks M. Ward’s first album since 2009’s Hold Time, entered the public sphere earlier this year with the release of the beautiful video for “The First Time I Ran Away” (seen below).

In contrast to that song, “Primitive Girl” seems to carry forward the fuller sound of Hold Time, eschewing the sparseness that characterized so many of Ward’s earlier records.  Just the same, at only 2:20 the track is classic, compact M. Ward, and arrives like a cheery, energetic bolt from the blue.

Taken together, “The First Time I Ran Away” and “Primitive Girl” suggest an album that will run a range of styles – each of which are beautiful.  For A Wasteland Companion, Ward worked with eighteen different musicians in studios from Omaha to Portland, and Los Angeles to Bristol (U.K.).  All of this movement and collaboration produces songs that feel very much “of the moment,” and the result is something that feels truer to M. Ward’s experience.

You can read a bit more about the album here, and see some upcoming tour dates hereA Wasteland Companion is available for pre-order on Merge, and “Primitive Girl” is available on iTunes.


Here’s “Primitive Girl:”

And here’s “The First Time I Ran Away:”

Bon Iver Live at AIR Studios

Late last week, Bon Iver released a video featuring five songs he recorded at AIR Studio’s Lyndurst Hall.  Accompanied only by drummer Sean Carey, who plays the second piano in this video, the set is a stripped-down run through songs from the Blood Bank EP, Bon Iver, and a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”  The result is an exquisitely intimate session that truly captivates and reminds us why Bon Iver came to be celebrated in the first place.  Have a listen below:

(Via NPR)

Mailbag: Summer-Winter – Bewildered

Summer-Winter is a band from Pittsburgh, PA that features Terry O’Hara and several contributing musicians from Pittsburgh and NYC.  The music that results is mature, nuanced, and beautiful.  On Terry’s most recent album – Bewildered – the influence of bands like Mojave 3 simply can’t be overlooked.  The album is gentle in its langour, and recalls introspective moments of sitting on someone’s back porch and sipping whiskey deep into the twilight.  Perhaps even more compelling, however, is the path that this album took to arrive into the world.  A journey that its simple disclaimer – “The second album from Summer-Winter, Bewildered, was feverishly written in a week during dreamlike spells of insomnia.” – doesn’t really capture.  Let’s take a look…

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The Low Anthem Visit They Shoot Music…

Recently, The Low Anthem stopped by the awesome, Austrian site They Shoot Music Don’t They… to perform a version of “Ghost Woman Blues.”  The whole thing takes place outside by the Donaukanal, and it’s easy to see how the setting revisits the Providence, RI mill where they recorded Smart Flesh.  It’s a great, live performance, and you can check it out after the cut.  After that, why not visit They Shoot Music Don’t They… to check out more awesome sessions?  Today’s is Times New Viking, and we did a review of the site here.  Enjoy!

Mailbag: Andy Berkhout – Love Without Fear

Andy Berkhout‘s Love Without Fear is a beautiful, folk-inspired record that unfolds like a lazy afternoon in the country.  An acoustic album, with roots in folk and Americana, Love Without Fear is an intimate, gorgeous listen that is sure to captivate you.  Tracks like “Love’s Deep Embrace” (below) remind me of Elliott Smith, even as they create something that is both personal and original.

I have to agree with Slowcoustic on this one: “So essentially I am saying that you know this album wasn’t just thrown together, it grew out of crafting numerous tracks over time and it shows in the pretty darn solid collection of finger-picking, folk tinged beauties.”  Andy spent a year in which he released a song per week, and that dedication to improving and honing his songwriting craft really shines through here.

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