A Wasteland Companion
Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel were sweet together in She and Him—but per- haps M.Ward is sweeter alone. Released last April, A Wasteland Companion is perfect for lazy Sundays over breakfast or drives to the beach with the windows down. “The First Time I Ran Away” is particularly suited for a journey back to your hometown, nostalgia seeping through the chords.The album pro- gresses like a summer day: full of spunk and energy with a quiet, prolonged finish. Think sunset glow and the calm flutter of silhouett- ed birds (“Wild Goose”) and bonfire crackle (“Watch the Show”). “Sweethear t” (which features Deschanel, and is rather charming, actually) was made to pair with smearing ice cream in your lover’s face while riding the Ferris wheel—maybe you weren’t alive in the ‘40s, but a person can pretend, right? The haunts of violin and piano in “Crawl After You” and the intricately sophisticated gui- tar work in “Clean Slate” makes this album about as satisfying as an evening lake swim when it’s still warm outside.
- Jenny Boychuk