M. Ward has revealed plans for his latest album, Migration Stories, to be released on 3rd April 2020 via Anti Records.
For his tenth album, he journeyed to Quebec, Canada to work with Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry, producer/mixer Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine) and Teddy Impakt. Together they recorded a collection of 11 songs inspired by stories of human migration. Languid, hazy and often dream-like in narrative, these songs have their origins in pictures from newspaper and television reports, stories told by friends and tales from Ward’s own family history. At Arcade Fire’s Montreal studios the assembled talents recorded what he describes as “11 largely instrumental ballads – a sci-fi fast forward to a more silent night many generations from here to a maybe-era where movement is free again.”
Says Ward of the stories which informed these songs, “Some time went by, the stories wove together and I remember them now closer to characters in a dream of how people could treat each other than any kind of front-page news realism. I think music subconsciously – whether writing or listening – is a filter for me. Helping to process all the bad news into something new to build from. Some records to me are like self-fulfilling prophecies – visualizing change to wish something into being. Those records inspired this one.”
His captivating first track, ‘Migration of Souls’ can be heard below…
M. Ward’s music has always felt intricate, intimate and otherworldly. With Migration Stories he breathes beautiful life into vignettes of human flight, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy as it reckons with a world that feels more divided than ever before, even as its inhabitants grow more inextricably linked by the day. With a rich, emotive croon, he conveys a huge depth of emotion, captured in the studio, almost entirely on the very first take.
While he’s perhaps best known for his own output – sporting nine acclaimed studio albums under his belt – Ward may be equally celebrated for his wide-ranging and adventurous collaborations. In just the last decade alone he’s teamed up with Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Jim James to form the beloved supergroup Monsters of Folk, paired with Zooey Deschanel for six records as She & Him and worked in the studio and on the road with the likes of Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis, Norah Jones, Cat Power, Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, Peter Buck, and countless more.
‘Migration Stories’ – Tracklist:
- Migration of Souls
- Heaven’s Nail and Hammer
- Coyote Mary’s Traveling Show
- Independent Man
- Stevens’ Snow Man
- Unreal City
- Real Silence
- Along the Santa Fe Trail #
- Chamber Music
- Rio Drone