M. Ward Unveils New Studio Album ‘Supernatural Thing,’ Shares Title Track

M. Ward Unveils New Studio Album ‘Supernatural Thing,’ Shares Title Track

Photo by Jacob Boll

Today singer-songwriter M. Ward has announced the new studio album and first new music in three years, Supernatural Thing, will release on June 23. In celebration of the project’s release date being shared, Ward dropped its title track and an animated music video in which he converses with the ghost of Elvis, who imparts the message, “You can go anywhere you please.”

“Well, all my songs depend on dream-imagery to some extent,” Ward explained in a press release, “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.” He also alludes to this in the song itself by singing: “You feel the line is growing thin / between beautiful and strange.”

Supernatural Thing hosts an array of guest stars, including First Aid Kit, Scott McMicken, Neko Case, Jim James, Shovels & Rope and more. Notably, eight of the project’s 10 tracks are originals by Ward, while the other two are an ambitious take on David Bowie’s “I Can’t Give Everything Away” and the ever-raw “Story of an Artist” by the late Daniel Johnston, which Ward plays live. Of his cover selections, Ward said, “Bowie and Johnston are constant sources of inspiration for me, have been for I don’t know how many years.”

The new album does mark Ward’s first new music in three years; however, in 2020, Ward dropped two albums: Migration Stories and Think of Spring. The former was inspired by stories of immigration from newspapers, friends and his grandfather, and the latter was a collection of covers of classic Billie Holiday tunes – on the new project, he seems to have combined his tendencies of storytelling and giving tribute.

Of the title of the project, Ward offered, “The title comes from an early thought as a kid that radio traveled the same airwaves as messages from supernatural things — and music, especially remembered music, is somehow tied up in this exchange.”

He continued to say, “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.”

Listen to “supernatural thing” and watch the video animated video directed by Joel Trussel below.

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Supernatural Thing Traclist
1. lifeline
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

May 19 – Vienna, AT – Chelsea
May 21 – Berlin, DE – Prachtwerk
May 26 – Lisbon, PT – LAV
May 27 – Porto, PT – M.ou.co

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