M. Ward - 'Migration Stories'

7/10

Since first emerging at the turn of the century, singer-songwriter Matthew Ward aka M. Ward has managed to become one of the more permanent fixtures on the world's Americana scene. With a wealth of studio albums under his belt already, not too mention his work with Monsters Of Folk and Zooey Deschanel collaboration She & Him, he has quickly made a name for himself as one of the most prolific artists working today. But after experiencing a rare year without him in 2019, he returns to deliver his tenth studio album 'Migration Stories', a warm and wistful collection of blissful leanings.

With more than twenty years of professional recordings throughout his career so far, M. Ward has never been one to step too far away from his formative sound, and that is exactly what we get on this new record. Despite lending the production to little more than a guitar and his own sweetly soothing voice, he is able to generate a bright and textured atmosphere of sheer heartfelt emotion, something we rarely see in these times. His effortless approach may not be the most original or dexterous, but it still manages to conjure up bright and euphoric imagery, creating a safe yet captivating new release.

At this point, M. Ward could become one of those artists that can throw out any old thing and his fanbase would lap it up. But he always sounds like a musician finding his feet for the first time, constantly looking to prove himself to the listener, making for a truly delightful and engaging listen from start to finish.

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