You don’t need to tell David Ward about the resurgence of vinyl. A self-confessed lover of vinyl, the Vancouver-based songwriter actively composed and arranged the songs on his new album, Golden Future Time, so that the A- and B-sides of the record would each encompass a distinct vibe.
Side A, entitled “Lost,” features jazzy and often ethereal melodies that have the ability to stretch, while Side B is more up-tempo, exposing Ward’s love of pop music with an array of textured rhythms.
The two sides represent an ambitious songwriter who was happy to mould his songs in order to reach his original vision.
“I started the record with a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do,” he says after a long pause, as if unclear of how to articulate his grandiose vision. “It was my intention of putting it out on vinyl and exposing the two different sides of the medium. Some of them sounded very differently but I moulded them into something that would fit on the different sides.”
Reached in Vancouver by phone, Ward’s passion for his craft becomes evident in his child-like enthusiasm. He considers every question carefully and weighs his responses accordingly. Seeing as how vinyl remains such an important part of his general aesthetic, Ward speaks about what vinyl offers him personally with a philosophical touch.
“It’s about slowing down and taking your time with music. It’s a conscious effort to sit down and listen to the whole side of a record. To pore over that, there’s a romanticism and a focus with vinyl that I think music deserves.”
Audiophiles will enjoy hearing Ward’s sound in the medium it deserves; Ward often allows his songs time to build to daring and often outrageous climaxes, though he insists he “wasn’t conscious” of allowing his songs time to build.
After being pressed, he finally admits that too much experimentation did cause a concern for him throughout the recording process.
“When I worked with Andrew Peebles on the second side of the record, he was really experimenting with some ideas. He had three or four really great vintage synthesizers so I was wary of how much we were experimenting. I wasn’t worried about creating too big a song but I definitely wanted to refrain from too many bits and parts.”
Though Golden Future Time dips its toes in a variety of genres, from prog-rock to soul, when Ward takes the record on tour the songs will be presented at their most stripped-down. Ward relishes in the challenge of bringing his oft-cinematic sound into many of the country’s finer cafes.
“I just finished up a U.K. tour with just me and my guitar, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about how to adapt these songs,” he says. “The songs won’t sound like they do on the album. But I have tried to keep the essence and the heart of the songs and give it a warmer feel with just me and my guitar; at the core, it’s just those two elements anyway.”
And who knows, on his days off, Ward may take time to peruse the country’s many incredible record stores. Which section he’d end up in is another question altogether.
“If I go to a record store and pick up too much of one genre, I have this tendency to pick up a classical or jazz record to balance it out. I’m always looking to open up new paths and challenges for my musical world.”
David Ward plays Vancouver Live Sound on March 1.
By Joshua Kloke