Rookie of the Week: Marcus Alan Ward

Marcus Alan Ward

 

“Luck is made by hard-working machines.” That’s the first thing you’ll read on the contact information page on his website. And if that phrase holds true, then Marcus Alan Ward is the industrial revolution that our ears have been waiting for.

Allow me to introduce you to Cleveland, Ohio’s Marcus Alan Ward- a self-taught multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano, percussion… seriously, you name it, he plays it) that’s bursting into music with the intensity of a supernova. Ward first got his start playing in and out of bands in his highschool days before later being exposed to jazz, soul, and electronic music in his collegiate years. And from there, the gears really started turning. The mechanical-man went on to release two EPs under his moniker “Freeze-Tag” WLDFLWR_HNY (2012) and Eskimo (2013), and churned out an LP, Last Night I Grew Tentacles, under his own name in 2014.

Then came the torrential downpour of success.

Ward’s releases would generate a considerable amount of press locally and nationally (Hilldilly, Pigeons and Planes, and In Your Speakers, to name a few), with high praise and substantial hype rushing at him from all-sides. He played smaller shows all over the Ohio area and gradually built his name, later opening for larger acts such as Bloc Party.

And then came a long silence. (Hey, don’t fret- Rome wasn’t built in a day).

Ward’s long, brooding quiet only signified the beginning of what’s to come. While we spent our time swept up in the latest hand-held, easy-access and virtually instantaneous tech, Marcus tinkered and toyed with the latest invention of his sound. After careful consideration of the funky electronics and soulful musings of his previous releases, and taking more cues from R&B and jazz, Marcus Alan Ward is back with an infectious new single titled “Little Sunshine.” 

Trust me when I tell you that this new track is everything that you need.

Behind steamy synths stands Ward’s smooth, sensual voice, which croons supple Al Green-esque verses that will nestle in your brain like Naegleria fowleri. But, if by some miracle (and by “miracle”, I mean “gaffe in your taste in music”) Ward’s contagious croons don’t hook you in first, consider the fetching psychedelic time-warp instrumentation, which packs enough funky hooks and breezy grooves to punch a hole through the universe and pull the late 70s-the early 80s groove back through and into your digital age bones.

I know plenty of truly grassroots, self-taught musicians that have the potential to change the game, but Marcus Alan Ward is straight up killing it. By the time that most musicians are beginning to ’round the corners of innovation, Ward is already several blocks away. His shape-shifting, mystifying, boundless musicianship, technical mastery, and machine-like drive will perpetually skyrocket him further ahead than the rest, marking him as a must-see standout musician and our definite Rookie of the Week!

 



About Marcus Alan Ward

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Combining the shape-shifting musicianship of the 80’s, the mysticism of the 70’s, and the fiery electric blues guitar work of the 60’s, as well as many other more modern influences, Marcus Alan Ward creates a portal into the musical golden eras of the past while bravely forging ahead into the future.

The self-taught multi-instrumentalist and Cleveland, Ohio native spent his middle and high school days in and out of bands, later discovering and being exposed to jazz, soul, hip hop, electronic music, and more obscure sounds in college. After releasing a pair of EP’s under the initial “Freeze-Tag” moniker (2012’s WLDFLWR_HNY and 2013’s Eskimo) the artist released his debut full length album Last Night I Grew Tentacles via his own Long Division Recordings in August of 2014, under his own name. Ward says of the name change, “It really draws distinction to the fact that I’m a one man composer and that it’s just me, it’s more honest.”

Toying with light electronic and alternative soul musings on his previous releases, Ward turns his attention to Psychedelic Pop, Rock, and Funk on his latest offerings. The only child continues to pursue honest artistic expression while keeping musicianship at the forefront.

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