M. Ward – Hold Time
6) M. Ward – Hold Time
The albums in my list for this year fall into one of two categories. Either I know the people involved – not friends, but people I’ve at least had a pint or awkward sexual encounter with – or know nothing about them whatsoever. M. Ward may not even have a first name. He could spend his days auctioning dogs, or be M out of James Bond* for all I know.
Gone are the days when the mainstream music press had an important role in shaping one’s opinion on an artist via interviews or breathless album reviews; instead I find out about music from friends, gigs, and still, sometimes, the radio. M Ward was just a name on a folder on a memory stick. I liked what I heard, then downloaded his new album from emusic. Until I find it to use as visual dressing for this review, I won’t even know what the album artwork looks like.
So, M Ward, the American (or possibly Canadian) singer of folky music lives on my music player making me happy. The songs glide, lollop and chug along; full of warmth, they’re beautifully arranged, and make long train journeys a pleasure. The lyrics? They’ve not really made much of an impression on me – the melodies, voice and arrangements are enough. If I ever properly listen to the lyrics, maybe he’ll make his way up the list. Maybe if I knew who he was or what his opinions were, I’d like him even more.
Or maybe he’s a twat. It doesn’t matter. This album’s a blissed-out joy, and that’s enough.
*This is silly. M’s not a weary-voiced alt-American singer – he’s Dame Judy Dench.