For some people, you have to leave your home to produce your best work. In the case of formerly New York City based Ward White, picking up and relocating in Los Angeles proved to be an incredibly beneficial decision. Regarding the former location, White added, “My New York records covered a pretty broad swath over the years, ranging from writ large cinematic art rock (Ward White Is The Matador), to delicate chamber pop (McGinty & White), to a crypto-entymological opera about mind controlling cockroaches (Bob).” On his Los Angeles recorded As Consolation, White worked out of Paperchaser Studios, owned by multi-instrumentalist/ engineer Tyler Chester (Blake Mills, Hayes Carll).
On As Consolation, White plays guitar and bass, and is joined by Chester on keyboards, and Mark Stepro on drums and percussion. The three create an ethereal, almost heavenly sound. Bringing to mind both Unknown Mortal Orchestra and America, Ward White’s latest is chock full of fuzzy surf rock nuances and hard rock riffs. Album closer “Weekend Porsche” listens exactly as it should– a quick convertible getaway to a sun-soaked oasis. It’s less vocals and more instrumentals, reminding us of White’s expansive musicality. “Coffee Maker” feels a bit edgier, pushing along with grungy chords and frustration-driven lyrics, as White describes feeling put out by an appliance. His humor shines through, maintaining his sanity through witty remarks and clever jabs.
Marking his tenth release, As Consolation doesn’t represent a tired Ward White. If anything, he is stronger than ever, carrying on with his usual laid back melodies that can either induce a celebratory dance or an understanding head nod (see the melancholic “Which Pain”). White has been performing for over twenty years, and his time both on the road and in the studio has led to both experience and valuable knowledge, and this shows throughout As Consolation, especially with lyrics like, “Don’t try to find the truth in my eyes” (“The Crows”).
His intention is caring and unknowingly watches out for the listener, as he adds “I try to create songs that are evocative in detail – in specificity – but are open ended enough for a listener to project their own narrative.” It’s a sort of choose your own ending, moment, and we’re thankful for the options.
Keep up with Ward White here.