Today, the renowned singer/songwriter M. Ward is announcing the new studio album ‘Supernatural Thing’, to be released on 23rd June. His songs “luxuriate in a dream world conjured out of memories, shared stories, and flights of fancy,” Pitchfork says, and the album’s title track also lives in a liminal space in which Elvis comes to him with a message: You Can Go Anywhere You Please.
“Well, all my songs depend on dream imagery to some extent,” Ward explained, “and this was an actual dream I had about Elvis, when he came to me and said that. I don’t know if it’s pandemic-related or not”. Summing up the emotional tone of the record, Ward also sings on this track: “you feel the line is growing thin / between beautiful and strange.” Listen to the song and watch its new animated video, directed by Joe Trussel, below.
LISTEN + WATCH ‘supernatural thing’
The album’s guest stars, First Aid Kit, Shovels & Rope, Scott McMicken, Neko Case, Jim James and others, enliven the album with surprises. Eight of the album’s ten songs are Ward originals, but there is also an unusual Bowie choice, “I Can’t Give Everything Away” from Blackstar, and a live rendition of Daniel Johnston’s “Story of an Artist.” “Bowie and Johnston are constant sources of inspiration for me, have been for I don’t know how many years,” Ward offered.
‘Supernatural Thing’ is M. Ward’s first new music in three years, but in 2020 M. Ward released two albums. On April’s ‘Migration Stories’, Ward was inspired by the immigration journeys he’d heard from friends or read about in newspapers, as well as what his own grandfather had to go through when immigrating to the US from Mexico. For the December album ‘Think of Spring’ he covered classic Billie Holiday tunes, as she is an artist he’s greatly inspired by. “Instead of the small jazz bands or orchestration she relied on, M. Ward pares the songs to just his voice and guitars, making them sound even starker than they once did,” said Rolling Stone.
Speaking about ‘Supernatural Thing’, M. Ward says that “the title comes from an early thought as a kid that radio travelled the same airwaves as messages from supernatural things — and music, especially remembered music, is somehow tied up in this exchange. The sending and receiving of messages from memory and dreams seem to move along this same often broken-up wavelength. I see this new record as an extension, 18 years later, of my ‘Transistor Radio’ record, but this new record is better because it’s more concise and has more voices and more moods — the way my favorite radio was and still is.”
Next month Ward will embark on a select run of European tour dates; all upcoming shows are listed below. Tickets are available HERE.
19 May 2023 – Chelsea – Vienna, Austria
21 May 2023 – Prachtwerk – Berlin, Germany
26 May 2023 – LAV – Lisbon, Portugal
27 May 2023 – M.ou.co – Porto, Portugal
‘Supernatural Thing’ Tracklisting
2. too young to die (feat. First Aid Kit)
3. supernatural thing
4. new kerrang (feat. Scott McMicken)
5. dedication hour (feat. Neko Case)
6. i can’t give everything away (feat. Jim James)
7. engine 5 (feat. First Aid Kit)
8. mr. dixon (feat. Shovels & Rope)
9. for good (feat. Kelly Pratt)
10. story of an artist
PRE-ORDER ‘SUPERNATURAL THING’ HERE