Critics hailed his 2006 album, Post-War, but Portland singer-songwriter M. Ward is more famous as half of the feathery kitsch-pop duo She & Him, his recent pairing with doll-faced actress Zooey Deschanel. On his own, Ward is far more earthbound, but it’s a singularly lovely kind of weight. And Hold Time does, in fact, feel timeless, a musical wanderer’s dusty, train-hopping tour through folk, blues, and country. His voice, as beautifully cracked and worn as old leather, belies the meticulousness of the production — it takes a lot of work, no doubt, to sound this effortless. A?
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