New Album Coming in the Spring 2012
M. Ward's rise to international renown has been something of a slow burn. Initially a well-kept secret of his peers in the Portland folk scene, his star continued to rise with each record's release, and he is now one of the most acclaimed American musicians of the decade. With 2003's Transfiguration of Vincent, his first recording for Merge, Ward's honey-soaked vocals, deft finger-picking, and beguiling lyrics caught the attention of fans like Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis, who invited him out on tour. 2005's Transistor Radio, a love letter to the golden age of AM radio, was a critical success, earning a plethora of excited reviews. He spent time touring with Conor Oberst and Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) playfully billing themselves as "The Monsters of Folk" and was taken out on the road with the White Stripes. 2007's Post-War was something of a breakthrough, landing Ward and his band on the late-night chat show performance circuit and winning the public praise of such disparate talents as Norah Jones and Oasis' Noel Gallagher, the former taking him on a global tour as her sole support act.
The success of She & Him’s Volume One came out of left field, as Deschanel and Ward’s seemingly unlikely pairing—the effervescent actress-singer and the sought-after yet self-effacing guitarist—proved to sound absolutely right. When the record was finished, they didn’t so much announce themselves as simply step up to the mic and start playing. Their choices of band moniker and album titles were deliberate; as Deschanel told the New York Times: “I wanted a name that was very humble, modest and anonymous.” Matt agrees: “We wanted the music to come first, which sort of explains the band name as well as the names of the records. The songs are what we want people to remember.”