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.
Here’s “Primitive Girl:”
And here’s “The First Time I Ran Away:”