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M. Ward, ‘Primitive Girl’ – Song Review

M. Ward, 'A Wasteland Companion'
Merge Records

M. Ward is set to return from a three-year solo hiatus with his new album ‘A Wasteland Companion’ on April 10, and Merge Records isn’t slacking off when it comes to promotion — just a few weeks after treating us to a video for leadoff single ‘The First Time I Ran Away,’ they’ve released the follow-up, ‘Primitive Girl.’

Weighing in at a slim 2:20, ‘Primitive Girl’ captures Ward at his poppiest, combining typically reverb-laden vocals with a punchy, piano-led arrangement that complements the song’s surging, insistent melody. While it may not boast Ward’s sharpest lyrics, it showcases a sunnier side of his musical personality than he’s typically known for, and the layered production — which includes soaring stacks of female background vocals — suggests that ‘A Wasteland Companion’ could find him moving into unexplored sonic territory. It backs up what Ward said in the press release announcing the album: “It was a process of stripping away my security blanket, which is the same four walls I always record in.”

All things considered, we were happy to hear that Ward would be resuming his solo career after a few years of group projects (including Monsters of Folk, She & Him, and Tired Pony), and ‘Primitive Girl’ hasn’t dimmed our enthusiasm for hearing the complete ‘Wasteland Companion.’

Listen to M. Ward’s New Single, ‘Primitive Girl’

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