M. WARD: Let’s Dance

M. Ward plays the Mann Friday with Bright Eyes and The Dawes. MORE

M. Ward is the nom de soft rock of one Matt Ward, a shadowy horse whisperer from Portland, Ore., who has m_ward1.jpgreleased seven 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. Ward is deeply self-schooled in all things past, and smart enough to know those who ignore history are doomed to remix it. A sad-eyed troubadour in the hang-dawg tradition of Nick Drake and Tim Buckley, Ward teases high emotion out of low-key compositions, coloring his records with the sepia-toned crackle and hiss of old rural blues recordings, drifty dustbowl sadness and the submarine murk of vintage echo. It’s the pretty, twittering music you usually have to suffer a concussion to hear — you hold your head and just watch the concentric halos of birdies and little stars orbiting your noggin. This is the sound of 21st-century porch music, like a Woody Guthrie song about flying saucers or watching Birth Of A Nation on your iPod. — JONATHAN VALANIA

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