M. Ward: Sounds Of A Different Time And Place The singer-songwriter went to eight different studios to make his latest album, A Wasteland Companion. Ward drew inspiration not only from the different locations, but also from a variety of older production styles.
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M. Ward: Sounds Of A Different Time And Place

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M. Ward: Sounds Of A Different Time And Place

M. Ward: Sounds Of A Different Time And Place

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's go now to the musician M. Ward. The M is for Matt. But just as his stage name suggests a little mystery, M. Ward's music inspires a sense of wonder. It's reminiscent of sounds from a different time and place.

Take the song, "Sweetheart."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SWEETHEART")

M. WARD: (Singing) You have a sweet heart, sweetheart. You have a nice smile, baby. You drove me crazy down lover's lane.

Well, I get most of my inspiration from older records and older production styles, older guitar styles. And that ends up rearing its head in the records that I make.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SWEETHEART")

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The making of his new album, "A Wasteland Companion," took M. Ward to some faraway places - Austin, Texas; Bristol, England; eight studios in all. He had to reckon with spending more and more time away, often on tour, from his native Portland, Oregon.

WARD: There's a lot of songs on the record that are about being away versus being home, and trying to bridge gaps, and how inspiration plays into all of that.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE FIRST TIME I RAN AWAY")

MONTAGNE: M. Ward hopes listeners hear "A Wasteland Companion" as a kind of musical travelogue.

WARD: Where the listener sort of does this traveling with the artist around to all these different places, and so there's this movement inferred in the listening of the record.

MONTAGNE: One place M. Ward takes us is into the control room of a nameless TV station - and the mind of one of its bitter employees - in the song "Watch the Show."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WATCH THE SHOW")

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WATCH THE SHOW")

MONTAGNE: The musical tales from guitarist and singer M. Ward. Hear more at NPRMusic.org. His new album, "A Wasteland Companion," is out today.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "I GET IDEAS")

MONTAGNE: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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