Taking his cues from the past and with a vision towards the future, David Ward has created a portal to the spiritual, the dirty, the beautiful and the raw on his second solo album, Golden Future Time.
Fresh off an acclaimed performance at the 2013 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Ward’s star is in the ascendant. Following up on 2012’s celebrated EP trilogy, The Arrival, he has readied a textured brew of the cosmic and earthy; a sonic exploration of the muse combining electronica, R&B, funk, art-rock, disco and cabaret.
Cinematic in scope both musically and lyrically, Golden Future Time is a two part saga created for the artistic opportunity of vinyl. Each side takes the listener through different worlds and genres without compromising quality or cohesion. Side A (Lost) was produced, engineered & mixed by Tom Dobrzanski (of The Zolas); Side B (Golden Future Time) was co-produced by David Ward and Andrew Peebles, and mixed by Anthony Dolhai (DiRTY RADiO). The album is set for release in Canada on January 28th, 2014.
“Imagine Jeff Buckley’s untethered falsetto with Stevie Wonder’s warm, grainy tenor…David Ward has mastered both, plus all points between. Ward is clearly a versatile and ambitious talent.” UNCUT
The opening ambiance of Side A is quickly anchored with the dark and heavy pulse of the kick drum that ignites the 7/4 jam “slowly through the night.” It’s a threatening storm of angsty guitars and distorted bass. This passes into the meditative synths and off-kilter beat of the title track “Lost” which climaxes in a prog-rock jam evoking the psychedelic leanings of Pink Floyd. The remainder of Side A travels from the cabaret lullaby of “Ghost in the Woods” to the quiet yearning of “Be Here”.
Side B picks up on the astral-soul tangent, taking us into a new dimension of Michael Jackson- esque harmonies, 70’s disco guitar spank, and vintage synthesizers. A new galaxy of funk and R&B that slides between the dance floor groove of title track Golden Future Time to the impressionistic ballad, Bird in the Hand, to the synth-heavy, thundering bass hook of Fly.
Drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as George Orwell and Quentin Tarantino, Ward has crafted an album about the fear of loss and the need for ideas that are bigger than us to preserve our hope and innocence.
Rooted in a respect and knowledge of what has come before, Ward looks to the future with artistry and daring.
Starting November 14, Ward begins his second UK tour and will soon be announcing Canadian dates early 2014.
“…I’ll dream of the day you keep saying awaits me, in our Golden Future Time.” GOLDEN FUTURE TIME
Praise for Golden Future Time
His new single marks the emergence of a very special artist indeed.
Exploratory, ever-evolving songcraft, his is a beautiful, very solitary universe.
Apologies for the lack of restraint, but we make this the second album of the year this week alone.
Most likely to: Be assured of a golden future.
Least likely to: Get lost.
Golden Future Time is the kind of sprawling album that will stop you in your tracks.
…the only thing stopping David Ward from becoming a household name is the injustice of the music industry.
Drowned in Sound
If the name David Ward doesn’t mean anything to you today, it soon will.
…The album is graceful, mature, other worldy and hypnotic, often in the same verse.
…Golden Future Time is a voyage through the mists and vapors of terrain that only Van Morrison and Sun Ra have plowed.
Ward…render(s) a piece of music that hints towards a timelessness lacking in many of his peers…Golden Future Time is a bravely ambitious recording by a gifted songwriter and, despite having clear markers in the 70s’, 80s’ and 90s’, one that seems both out of time and entirely without time; as though it’s all those decades at once—or just a memory of them.
Anyone who melds the tenor of Stevie Wonder into the falsetto of Jeff Buckley and the yips of Michael Jackson (the results of which are tethered to waves of psychedelia) is either genius or Gubu…On paper there’s no way it should work; listening to it a few times in a row, however, it works like a dream.
****4 out of 5 stars
David Ward, that has been described as a cross between Stevie Wonder and Jeff Buckley, has released a new track and it’s killer. The track – ‘Slowly Through The Night’ is one that certainly cannot be missed, it’s got edge, passion, melody and a somewhat comforting sound about it.
Seen it Heard it
Staff writer at DIY. Words about music for The Guardian, London in Stereo, The 405 & Notion Magazine.
There’s no denying that David Ward has a gift that many would die for; it’s something special that really can’t be ignored!
Ward’s words are far beyond his time. Penning lyrics of suffocating sadness and nabbing the need of self-preservation, Ward grasps the horns of the future and rams them into overdrive…It’s an extraordinary listen. If one thing’s for definite, soon enough the sunshine of the world will soak him up, shake him out and plant his name rolling from everybody’s tongues.
…the latest track to be culled from the record, ‘Lost’…it’s a slow-burning treat…
À la façon d’une poupée russe que l’on ouvrirait pour découvrir une poupée encore plus belle que la précédente, Golden Future Time se révèle lumineux et unique. Au final, on se retrouve, une fois ces sept poupées dévoilées, avec un diamant brut d’une grande valeur.
****4 out of 5 stars
The future is golden and so is this album.
In just one listen its immediately apparent that the measured beauty explored and instilled within this second full length reveals an astute aural alchemy at work whose depth, poise and realization of craft is simply exquisite.
Daring, different, and definitely outside the box. David Ward from Vancouver, Canada, has created an exciting playground for his imagination and versatility to basically run wild across the field…Ward’s future is so bright that you need to wear shades while listening to Golden Future Time.
David Ward stays impressively eccentric on Golden Future Time. If one thing remains constant, it’s that the dude can totally sing…
The Georgia Straight
Praise for The Arrival Trilogy
Each EP distinguishes itself sonically from its counterparts, and the overall package boils down to one heck of a journey.
At times it sounds like Amnesiac-era Radiohead if they had used more electric guitar…
This is an ambitious album for Ward and one that pays off spectacularly. The decision to split the album into three parts does not interrupt the album’s flow; rather, it seamlessly integrates a broad theme into three smaller themes to create a stunning package.
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*
From the Departures through to the Arrivals, David Ward’s latest musical venture was a definite success. The Arrivals gave this incredibly talented musician, vocalist, and artist the opportunity to showcase the variety and range in his musical abilities. Getting to go on this journey was definitely an amazing musical experience and I can’t wait to go on it again!
Few artists utilize space in their music quite like David Ward. The Vancouver singer/songwriter’s newest EP titled Arrivals is a three-part assemblage that demonstrates his versatile talent – he easily maneuvers the perimeter of several genres, moving in and out of a style that fuses hints of blues, folk, and soul into a sometimes haunting, sometimes isolated sound. It’s this inability to really peg him down that sustains the vibrancy in his music.
The personal voyage we’ve shared settles like sand on the bottom of a river. The Arrival, as a whole, is subtlety, innovation, and exploration all in one. It draws itself backward and becomes an objective template for every one of our own journeys, the trials and mistakes we’re fated to encounter, and the eventual moment when we arrive.
…the thing that struck me about this song [The Arrival] was the themes I hear in it of constantly being on the move, trying to slow down enough to make connections, and the difficult balance between these two forces that pull us in seemingly opposite directions. This is a rich field to harvest for the songwriter. And in this case, the razor-keen slide playing, and keening vocals don’t hurt either.
The Delete Bin
There’s that adage that the destination isn’t important, that the journey is what matters in the end, and that is a concept that Ward runs with in these releases with great success. It’s hard to pinpoint what the musical influences are; the press packet lists the usual suspects, but there’s something else there . . . an influence that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s in this very way that the music sounds both fresh and yet familiar all at the same time without feeling as though we’ve gone down this road before.
Deluxe folk-pop from Canuck vocal acrobat
Imagine Jeff Buckley’s untethered falsetto with Stevie Wonder’s warm, grainy tenor. Vancouver-based-singer-songwriter and theatre school graduate David Ward has mastered both, plus all points between. Divided into three sections, The Arrival consists of airy acoustic arrangements peppered with tricksy beat-skipping time signatures, from the silky Laurel Canyon folk-pop cascade of “No More Troubles Under the Sun” to the easy-breezy-sunshine-soul of “Sweet Girl”…Ward is clearly a versatile and ambitious talent.
Ward’s lush, honeyed vocals are easily the record’s outstanding element, and the odd mixture of influences in the Arrival often sounds something like Radiohead…as fronted by the young Michael Jackson. It’s particularly effective on tracks like Lost in Translation, which blends his soulful vocals with spiraling, angsty guitar crescendos.
Ward has the ability to move effortlessly from one genre to another, whilst maintaining his own voice. The soaring vocals of ‘Alice Blue’, the gentle tranquility of ‘Feel This Way’ and the lightness of ‘The Deepest Blue’.
The Arrival, although bite-sized, is a staggering accomplishment. From the loose, ethereal groove of “Sweet Girl” (its haunting vocal lines peg this as a standout single for 2012), the arresting title track and the sombre “The Deepest Blue”, the collection aches and sways with a musical and emotional astuteness on par with Van Morrison’s mystic 1970s records.
Features | Live Show
…he cut an impressive figure of maturity and calm. No small feat for a guy on the eve of a tour. But when he hit the stage, Ward dug into the shit with intensity and focus.
Backed by a solid quartet, Ward played an impressive 60-minute set of accomplished, sinewy jams. …Ward was relaxed in his banter but forceful in his musical delivery.
Clearly, there is something unique about Ward. As is evident from the three EPs he has released this year, his muse is shining bright.
Vancouver Weekly – Jason Motz
So what should one expect from a David Ward live show? Well, according to the man himself, his favourite songs to play change as the line-up of his band does…David seems to live and breathe his dream of musical collaboration and community, and each performance is organically created by the people involved.
The build-ups to each song are beautiful and lushly layered, each part of the set thoughtfully arranged and all performers showcased during the extended musical breaks…his genuine love and need to make music is clear throughout the set, which is over way too soon.