M. Ward

A Wasteland Companion

Few can pull off timelessness as effectively as M. Ward. Whether he’s churning out songs alongside Zooey Deschanel in She & Him or working among his folk-rock brethren as part of Monsters of Folk, Ward tends to lurk in the shadows, delivering dusty ruminations and thoughtful guitar plucks that nod to simpler times. On A Wasteland Companion, we get a nice melding of Ward’s collaboration-hungry side (“Primitive Girl” features a guest vocal from Susan Sanchez, and Deschanel shows up on “Sweetheart”), as well as a heavy helping of solo work. Not surprisingly, though, it’s solo where Ward shines. “Crawl After You” is a piano-and-electric-guitar masterpiece that moves from elegy to psychedelic rock out, while “Clean Slate” showcases Ward in all his crackled, country-folk glory. For a songwriter so meticulous about the details, it’s best Ward step out of the shadows more often, and A Wasteland Companion is a great reminder why.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Carousel House Now for Rent

The iconic octagon is available for parties and classes.

‘Fess Parker’ Name Dropped from Santa Barbara Waterfront Hotel

Change to Hilton Santa Barbara said to help the hotel reach a broader demographic.

Nicholas Kristof Hashes Out How To Help

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author joined local nonprofits to talk global development.

Pile Burn Season Raises Alarms

Uptick in citizen emergency calls upon viewing smoke and fire.

Jon Peterson Departs Habitat for Humanity

Takes a post with Covenant Trust Company of Chicago.