In the three years since Portland, OR-based troubadour M Ward released his last solo album – the universally lauded Hold Time – heâ€™s toured the globe, released two albums as one half of Grammy-nominated duo She & Him as well as one with the talented group of friends collectively know as Monsters Of Folk.
Merge Records will release Wardâ€™s highly anticipated sixth solo album, A Wasteland Companion, on April 10th 2012.
Inspired by his increasingly itinerant lifestyle Ward set forth to create something of a musical travelogue. He explains, â€œBetween now and when I made Hold Time there has been a lot of traveling which requires a lot of reckoning with what to leave behind and what to carry â€“ material and otherwise â€“ and thinking about what I want versus what I need, creatively and otherwise. I wanted to get a reflection of that on the album. It was a process of stripping away my security blanket, which is the same four walls I always record in.â€
The album, consisting of 12 tracks, was made with 18 musicians and recorded in eight different studios in Portland, Omaha, New York City, Los Angeles, Austin and Bristol (UK).
A Wasteland Companion features the talents of M Ward (piano, guitars, voice, production), Mike Coykendall (percussion, bass), Giant Sandâ€™s Howe Gelb (piano), John Parish (percussion, marimba), Bright Eyesâ€™ Mike Mogis (organ), Susan Sanchez (vocals), She & Himâ€™s Zooey Deschanel (vocals), Jordan Hudson (percussion), Adam Selzer (bass), Nathan â€œJRâ€ Andersen (piano), Scott McPherson (percussion), Sonic Youthâ€™s Steve Shelley (percussion), Dr Dogâ€™s Tobey Leaman (bass), Devotchkaâ€™s Tom Hagerman (strings), Oakely Hallâ€™s Rachel Cox (vocals), Amanda Lawrence (violin), John Graboff (pedal steel) and Tyler Tornfelt (bass).
The recording utilized eight engineers, including Tom Schick (Rufus Wainwright) and John Parish (PJ Harvey).
1- Clean Slate (for Alex & El Goodo)Â 7- A Wasteland Companion
2- Primitive GirlÂ 8- Watch The Show
3- Me And My Shadow Â 9- Thereâ€™s A Key
4- SweetheartÂ 10- Crawl After You
5- I Get IdeasÂ 11- Wild Goose
6- The First Time I Ran AwayÂ 12- Pure Joy
February 2 Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
April 11 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
April 12 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Cocoanut Grove Ballroom
April 13 Indio, CA @ Coachella **SOLD OUT**
April 14 Santa Barbara, CA @ SoHO
April 16 San Diego, CA @ Belly Up
April 17 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
April 18 Flagstaff, AZ @ The Orpheum
April 20 Indio, CA @ Coachella **SOLD OUT**
May 5 Portland, ME @ State Theatre
May 6 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
May 7 New Haven, CT @ Toads Place
May 8 Boston, MA @ House of Blues
May 11 New York, NY @ Webster Hall
May 12 Philadelphia, PA @Union Transfer
May 13 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
May 15 Durham, NC @ Duke Performances at Page Auditorium
May 16 Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
May 17 Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
May 22 Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
May 24 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Jonathan Richman supports 4/11
fIREHOSE supports 4/12, 4/16-4/18
Lee Ranaldo Band supports 5/5-5/22