M. Ward Surprise Releases New Self-Released Album, Two Songs Feature Jim James

What a Wonderful Industry Out Now

Jun 08, 2018 Photography by Autumn de Wilde Bookmark and Share


Surprise! With no advance warning, M. Ward has self-released a new album, What a Wonderful Industry. The album includes 12 new songs, including two ("Miracle Man" and "Bobby") that feature Jim James of My Morning Jacket (Ward was also in the supergroup Monsters of Folk with him). Listen to the whole album below, followed by its tracklist and cover art, as well as Ward's upcoming tour dates.

Ward produced What a Wonderful Industry, which was recorded in Portland, OR, engineered by Mike Coykendall and Adam Selzer, and mixed by Rob Schnapf. The album is the follow-up to 2016's solo album, More Rain, released via Merge, and Christmas Party, a Christmas album released the same year with Zooey Deschanel as She & Him, via Columbia.  

The album's title and the fact that it was self-released might indicate Ward's dissatisfaction with the music industry. Ward explains in a press release: "This is a record inspired by people in the industry I have known - heroes and villains in equal measure. There's some beautiful moments when you travel for a living, and I'm grateful for being part of an industry that's taken me around the world so many times - but you quickly learn there's a perfectly imperfect balance of cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals in the zoo. This record visits the most memorable characters. There's a lot of very inspirational people I've had the pleasure to work with but there are also a few I wish I'd never met. It all tragically ends with an imaginary Griffin Mill-inspired murder ballad."

Ward adds: "This album is a reminder to keep your friends close, your enemies closer and don't let the ones that just need an extra couple hours of therapy bring you down. Anyway I hope you like it. All names have been changed to protect the innocent."

What a Wonderful Industry Tracklist:

1. Arrivals Chorus
2. Miracle Man*
3. Shark
4. Motorcycle Ride
5. El Rancho
6. Sit Around the House
7. Kind of Human
8. A Mind Is the Worst Thing to Waste
9. Return to Neptune's Net
10. Poor Tom
11. War & Peace
12. Bobby*

*featuring Jim James

M. Ward Tour Dates:

June 8 - New Haven, CT - College Street Music Hall *
June 9 - Burlington, VT - The Green at Shelburne Museum *
June 10 - Portland, ME - State Theatre *
June 12 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre *
June 13 - Brooklyn, NY - BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival *
June 15 - Bethlehem, PA - MusikFest Cafe at ArtsQuest Center
June 16 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
June 18 - Calgary, AB - Bella Concert Hall
June 20 - Vancouver, BC - The Imperial
June 21 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre *
June 22 - Portland, OR - McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheatre *
June 23 - Portland, OR - McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheatre *
July 1 - San Francisco, CA - Stern Grove Festival #
July 8 - Quebec City, QC - Festival d'été de Québec !
July 10 - Ottawa, ON - Ottawa Bluesfest ^
July 11 - Toronto, ON - Mod Club
July 13 - Ithaca, NY - The Haunt
July 14 - Woodstock, NY - Bearsville Theatre
July 15 - Portsmouth, NH - Prescott Park Arts Festival

*supporting The Decemberists
# w/ Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
! w/ Shawn Mendes, The War on Drugs, Frank Turner and more
^ w/ Foo Fighters, Greta Van Fleet and more 

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