We last heard some new M. Ward music just last year, when he surprise-released What A Wonderful Industry. Always prolific, M. Ward’s already back today with news of another new collection. This one’s titled Migration Stories, and it arrives in April.
M. Ward recorded his 10th album in Quebec, where he linked up with the Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry, producer/mixer Craig Silvey, and Teddy Impakt. Migration Stories is, fittingly enough, inspired by stories of human migration — spanning stories in the news to M. Ward’s own family origins. In a press release, he described the results of the Quebec sessions as “11 largely instrumental ballads — a sci-fi fast forward to a more silent night many generations from here to a maybe-era where movement is free again.” Then, that inspiration blossomed and he filled out the narrative of the album. Here’s what he had to say about it:
Some time went by, the stories wove together and I remember them now closer to characters in a dream of how people could treat each other than any kind of front-page news realism. I think music subconsciously — whether writing or listening — is a filter for me. Helping to process all the bad news into something new to build from. Some records to me are like self-fulfilling prophecies — visualizing change to wish something into being. Those records inspired this one.
Along with the news, M. Ward shared the album’s lead single and opening track, “Migration Of Souls.” A characteristically dusty folk meditation, it seems like it’ll be an appropriate overture for the album. Check it out below.
01 “Migration Of Souls”
02 “Heaven’s Nail And Hammer”
03 “Coyote Mary’s Traveling Show”
04 “Independent Man”
05 “Stevens’ Snow Man”
06 “Unreal City”
07 “Real Silence”
08 “Along The Santa Fe Trail”
09 “Chamber Music”
11 “Rio Drone”
04/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
04/18 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
04/19 – Jersey City, NJ @ White Eagle Hall
04/22 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
04/24 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
04/26 – Woodstock, NY @ Levon Helm Studios
04/28 – Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
04/29 – Toronto, ON @ The Great Hall
05/01 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
05/02 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
05/03 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
05/14 – Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall
05/16 – Seattle, WA @ The Neptune Theatre
05/17 – Tacoma, WA @ Elks Temple
05/19 – Sonoma, CA @ Gundlach Bundschu Winery – Redwood Barn
05/20 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
05/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater
Migration Stories is out 4/3 via Anti Records. Pre-order it here.