So far as I can tell, David Ward’s favourable reputation hinges on his genre bending and penchant for folksy tunes. For me, it was the odd-meter prog jam on “Slowly Through the Night” and the tongue-in-cheek funk cheese of “Golden Future Time.” There’s something inexplicably pleasant about Ward’s new double EP. It doesn’t sound as if the musicians were laughing to themselves despite the effects slathered generously over the faux-grand pianos and wah-wah guitars on “Bird in the Hand”; there is no sign of arrogant artistic grandeur on “Ghost in the Woods,” despite its art-folk inspirations. All of these songs are just forced to coexist and smile at one another despite their differences. And the musicians deserve tremendous credit for pulling such disparate ideas into a somewhat coherent disc. The double EP could have been a big pot of stew but Andrew Peebles, Dan Klenner and Joseph Lubinsky-Mast form a drool-worthy rhythm section on Lost’s four tracks, while Ward’s busy guitar work rounds out the top end and Mark Wilson’s synth/keys fill in all the gaps. Golden Future Time adheres to the “1983 R&B charts” concept, but just as the overstated synth stabs were beginning to grate on me, “Fly” had its final crescendo and my player whirred its way back around to track one. Delightful, truly delightful.

By John Julius

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