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M. Ward

M. Ward details how doo-wop inspired his new album More Rain

M. Ward is familiar with rain — so familiar that he decided to give it a starring role on his ninth album, aptly titled More Rain.

“I normally start the day with The New York Times front page,” Ward told EW in December. “Terrible things. So the idea of ‘more rain’ also sounds like another way of saying more bad news, how are you going to deal with it? All the songs create problems but also have solutions. So it’s a balance.”

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Chasing She & Him: Zooey Deschanel's band proves elusive at SXSW

One paradox of a hyper-cross-scheduled festival like SXSW is that even an artist with multiple gigs booked can be difficult to catch in the act of performing. By the time I got to Austin’s Cedar Street Courtyard last night to see Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s band She & Him, the badge-holders’ line was already snaking around the block. I loitered by the entrance a few minutes to see if I could see or hear their set from outside. Deschanel’s winsome vocals were soon wafting to the sidewalk where I stood, but not clearly enough to be worth sticking around.

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M. Ward, Lou Barlow, Laura Marling, and more help EW take SXSW

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At a festival full of over-capacity venues, it was nice to have at least one place where my fellow travelers and I knew for sure we could get in the doors with no trouble: the performance lounge that this publication put together at Smokin’ Music for EW subscribers and their guests on Thursday afternoon.

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