M. Ward – Think of Spring (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 37:36 minutes | 422 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Anti – Epitaph

To dare, in this day and age, to produce a cover version of the whole of the album Lady in Satin by Billie Holiday, the late masterpiece released shortly before the legendary singer’s death, one would either have to be ambitious to the point of pretension, or else approach the project very cleverly. Singer-guitarist M. Ward, an unassuming fixture of American pop and Americana for about twenty years, has, naturally, chosen the second option: his approach is gentle and careful. Whereas in 1958 Billie Holiday sang amidst a forty-strong orchestra, like a shipwreck amid a storm, Mr. Ward approaches the songs of Lady in Satin alone, with an acoustic guitar and a Tascam 4-track. Mr. Ward has always been a friend of female singers. He has played with Cat Power, Norah Jones and Zooey Deschanel on the duo She & Him. Maybe in addition to thinking about spring, he was dreaming of accompanying Billie Holiday on this record. In any case, his singing draws out the torpor and detachment from Lady Day’s works. His guitar playing is deceptively simple and minimalist, like idle chords strummed at home when no one is listening. Sometimes they sound like hoarse little jazz bossas, hanging out of time. Recorded on a tight budget and finished during the Covid epidemic when Mr. Ward could no longer do concerts, Think of Spring sounds like an album of domestic demos, a pyjama record. – Stéphane Deschamps


1. M. Ward – I Get Along Without You Very Well
2. M. Ward – For Heaven’s Sake
3. M. Ward – It’s Easy To Remember
4. M. Ward – You’ve Changed
5. M. Ward – Violets For Your Furs
6. M. Ward – For All We Know
7. M. Ward – But Beautiful
8. M. Ward – All The Way
9. M. Ward – I’m A Fool To Want You
10. M. Ward – I’ll Be Around
11. M. Ward – You Don’t Know What Love Is