M. Ward’s delicate and brittle compositions grow on me a little more with each listen. I first heard Ward three years ago opening for My Morning Jacket at a club with terrible sound in Hollywood. No matter, Ward’s lone acoustic and unconventional voice transcended the shitty hall and left my friends and I asking who this guy wearing an old ballcap on stage was. Fast forward a few years and and Ward is back with his latest album, Post War , out on Merge August 29th.

This, his fifth LP, may not turn any new fans on to Ward’s road-weary worn voice, but when preaching to the converted, he’s hit another solid home run. Autumn is approaching and it calls out for this album — man, we need this album. This, like all of Ward’s brand of folk music, is the soundtrack to falling leaves, bonfires, and crisp air blowing through the crack in your car’s window. Expanded instrumentation and a bevy of guests ranging from Jim James to Neko Case only add the record’s charm.

But hey, it’s August, and I’m in southern California. I guess I’ll just have to press play, turn the AC way down, put on a sweater and pretend it’s really October. Damn this is good.

MP3: M. Ward :: Post-War
MP3: M. Ward :: Right In The Head
Listen: M. Ward on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, March 29, 2005.

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The Hype Machine for additional M. Ward MP3s.
+ M. Ward available through eMusic’s 25 Free MP3 offer.

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