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M. Ward
Transfiguration of Vincent

First, a word about his sponsor: While I can’t ever foresee the need to hear a new Superchunk album in this lifetime, the label those folks have set up, Merge, so consistently releases product of uncommon purity and indispensability that it should make the likes of Matador, Touch and Go, Sub Pop and Drag City glow with the red-blush shame of the recently spanked. I tip my hat to them. And now, on with the show … M. Ward is the nom de soft rock of one Matt Ward, a shadowy horse whisperer from Portland, Ore., who has released three albums of Jiminy Cricket porch folk and enigmatic lo-fi attic blues, each invested with a moonlit vibe that suggests there’s a kind of hush all over the world tonight. This actually came out back in 2003, and I’m writing about it now because I’m officially grabbing the wheel of the M. Ward bandwagon and picking up all those dumb-butt hitchhikers who didn’t think to stick out their thumbs when it came around the first time — present company included. Sublime.