After 12 years of quietly sending ripples through the independent music scene, David Ward’s latest, a cinematic and soulful opus, Violet, Gold + Rose, has garnered support from some of the most respected artists in music.
Ward has spent the last two years between Vancouver, London and Berlin, building on the success of his last album, Transitioning. The run has included opening slots for grammy-winner Lisa Fischer, Becca Stevens, Jacob Collier, and a sold-out show at London’s historic Union Chapel with fellow Canadian, Frazey Ford.
Taking up with his long-time bandmates Ward tracked Violet, Gold + Rose in two of his favourite Vancouver, hometown studios with the mammoth musical and administrative undertaking of adding a 12-piece choir and 13-piece orchestra.
“It’s an exploration of different ideas of spirituality and romantic love,” says Ward of the new album, “and how the theme of worship, in its many shapes and colours - love, reverence and despair - connects them both.”
Ward worked with Russell Elevado, lauded grammy-winning engineer, producer and mixer for the likes of D'Angelo, Alicia Keys, The Roots, Common, Al Green and Erykah Badu, on mixing and mastering the album. Elevado’s "old school" techniques helped give the album a quality reminiscent of classic soul and R&B records with the addition of hip hop textures and psychedelic treatments heard on rock records of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Adding to that sound is the voice of Patrice Quinn from Kamasi Washington’s The Epic and Harmony of Difference, who appears on a duet.
This is 1940s Disney-style orchestral arrangements meets '70s era MJ and Stevie Wonder, with a hit of psychedelia.
Undeniably, Ward’s voice is the axis on which this album spins: “high, keening, packed with emotion and allied to a songwriting sensibility which is, at times, devastating.” Clash