There are literally hundreds of thousands of singer-songwriters plying their craft around the world every day. In an oft-saturated market, what can one do to set themselves apart from the hordes?
David Ward has an idea: push the boundaries that singer-songwriters are often boxed into. He’s manifested this idea with The Arrival, a three-part EP, each exploring a different genre and theme. Not content to simply release one full-length, each EP showcases the Vancouver artistʼs unique soul- driven sound while also weighing in on different aspects of an arrival.
It’s Ward’s attempt to give his patient, growing voice a pair of wings, and does so incredibly well. The Arrival displays David Ward as a singer-songwriter heavy in groove and harmony who refuses to let genres confine his approach.
Since the release of his debut full-length, Never Meant To Know in 2006, Ward has been touring Canada relentlessly, while also making recent sold out stops in the UK and Japan. His music has been called a “rare, bold foray into melodic experimentation” and there’s no shortage of genre-fusion on his latest release.
“Imagine Jeff Buckley’s untethered falsetto with Stevie Wonder’s warm, grainy tenor…David Ward has mastered both, plus all point between. Ward is clearly a versatile and ambitious talent.” UNCUT
Part one, entitled Departures explores what can be considered both the beginning and end of a journey; to leave, diverge, deviate and finally to pass away. “No More Troubles Under The Sun” and “Lost In Translation,” two standout tracks will introduce listeners to a chaotic and charged style before becoming engrossed in the big builds his songs are known for.
Part two, Borders, is heavy on ambiance. It’s the dividing line; a frontier; the in between – Borders explores the middle ground or stepping stone of a journey. Ward’s R&B roots are also explored, particularly on the lyrically-dense sway of “Feel This Way.” “Alice Blue” also displays his uncanny ability to blend genres in an effortlessly ethereal way.
By the time part three, Arrivals kicks in, Ward’s vision has become fully realized. The journey he has taken listeners on has been filled with emotional highs and lows, and Arrivals rounds everything off with poignant and stirring tracks including “Sweet Girl,” and the Motown-infused “Boat People” may be Ward’s finest moment yet.
The EP triology closes with “Joy” and it’s fitting: after just one spin, this is emotion many listeners will be full of. The Arrival takes listeners on a trip, and it’s one they’ll be keen to take again and again.