online listen
aha, the other half of She & Him
saw him on one of the late nights
that song gets better each listen (the clip)
nice dreamy stuff with some occasional pop
nothing bad here and makes the list
1.8 from me and a converted 2.1 from the pros at allmusic

from the album - Primitive Girl

released Apr 10th, 2012

Bio - from allmusic

Portland, Oregon-based singer/songwriter M. Ward (born Matthew Stephen Ward) grew up listening to gospel and
country, two genres that figure prominently in his breezy, West Coast take on Americana. After a six-year stint
with the folk-rock trio Rodriguez, Ward began sketching out songs deeply rooted in the classic traditions of
American country-folk. Ward's first solo effort came in the form of Duet for Guitars #2, which was written and
recorded while he was living between Chicago and various locales on the West Coast. Eventually, the album was
placed in the hands of the ever enigmatic Giant Sand mastermind Howe Gelb, who released it on his own Ow Om
Recordings in the fall of 2000. The record enjoyed favorable reviews and a considerable amount of attention in
underground rock circles, and Ward supported it with a handful tours throughout the United States and Europe.

Released in 2001, End of Amnesia helped to further develop Ward's penchant for dusty, timeless narratives and
bluesy, back-porch ballads, but it wasn't until 2003's Transfiguration of Vincent that Ward would begin to
penetrate the mainstream. His first release for indie darling Merge Records, Vincent cashed in on the Great
Depression obsession of the post-O Brother, Where Art Thou? gold rush, paving the way for 2005's Transistor Radio
and 2006's Post-War, both of which firmly established Ward as a major player in the burgeoning indie folk/adult
alternative rock scene. In 2008, after collaborating on a song for the film The Go-Getter with actress Zooey
Deschanel, the unlikely duo released a well-received album of covers and Deschanel originals called Volume One
under the moniker She & Him. Ward returned to the studio later that year to begin work on his next full-length
offering; 2009's Hold Time, which featured guest vocals from Deschanel, Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), and Lucinda
Williams, arrived in early 2009. 2010 and 2011 saw the release of two more She & Him outings (Volume 2 and A Very
She & Him Christmas), followed in 2012 by his seventh proper solo outing, A Wasteland Companion, which was recorded
in eight different studios and featured contributions from 18 different musicians including Howe Gelb, Bright Eyes'
Mike Mogis, Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, Devotchka's Tom Hagerman, and Deschanel.

Album Review - from allmusic

Matthew Stephen Ward's seventh studio album was recorded in eight different studios and boasts 18 guest musicians,
including Rachel Cox (Oakley Hall), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes),
Tom Hagerman (Devotchka), Tobey Leaman (Dr. Dog), and She & Him's X chromosome Zooey Deschanel, just to name a few.
Such a heroic production itinerary should surely yield appropriately epic results, but Ward's Wasteland Companion
feels as organic and understated as anything he's done thus far. Most of the 12 songs flirt with ambient textures,
but they remain firmly imbued with the breezy, tape-saturated patina that permeated early works like
Transfiguration of Vincent and Transistor Radio. For the most part, outside of the slight but catchy "Primitive
Girl" and the driving "Sweetheart," he eschews many of the pop tics that colored 2009's Hold Time for meandering,
dustbowl folk arrangements ("Clean Slate"), galloping, country-gospel motifs ("Pure Joy"), and Tin Pan Alley
nostalgia ("There's a Key"). Ward's naturalistic approach and consistently retro vibe work best when he lands
somewhere in the middle of it all, as is the case with the lush and timeless sounding "Wild Goose" and the bluesy
title track, both of which appear in the album's spare and satisfying second half. Fans who were wondering if
Ward's mainstream successes would yield a stylistic sea change can rest easy, as his signature, sepia-tone
demeanor, for better or for worse, remains steadfast.

Track Listing

1. Clean Slate
2. Primitive Girl
3. Me and My Shadow
4. Sweetheart
5. I Get Ideas
6. The First Time I Ran Away
7. A Wasteland Companion
8. Watch the Show
9. There's a Key
10. Crawl After You
11. Wild Goose
12. Pure Joy