Includes Bonus Track "Ride" From 'Cars 3' Feat. Gary Clark Jr.!
ZZ Ward didn't have to look far for inspiration on her second full-length album, 2017's The Storm. Equally evocative of blues grit and hip-hop bounce, the Los Angeles-based vocal powerhouse and multi-instrumentalist leapt forward by taking a deeper look at some of her earliest inspirations including Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson, and Vera Ward Hall and Big Mama Thornton.
"For me, this album wasn't really about experimenting," she admits. "It was more about simplicity, honing in on what I love about music and what makes me who I am as an artist. Growing up, I listened to a lot of hip-hop and blues, and I love those two genres so much. Sometimes, to evolve you don't need to go outside of yourself; you can reach further inside of yourself instead."
The fedora-rocking, guitar-shredding, harmonica-wielding blues siren's 2012 full-length debut Til The Casket Drops yielded a veritable hit in the form of "Put The Gun Down". For the new LP, Ward recorded around L.A. at different studios and at home over the course of 2015 and 2016. "It was all about getting that raw emotion," she exclaims.
The Storm represents ZZ Ward at her core. "This album as a whole really reflects much of the internal and external conflict that I've experienced. I fee like I dug deeper into what means the most to me. I hope that my stories connect with people out there and help them know they aren't alone in these struggles. That's what I can give to the world. Storms come and storms pass, it's how you weather them that defines you and makes you stronger."
"Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist ZZ Ward digs deep for her latest offering, The Storm. Yes, this collection of 11 kick-ass tracks hearkens back to Ward's blues influences, like Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson and Big Mama Thornton. But what brilliantly sets The Storm apart is her ability to take that form and evolve it into a supremely fresh and relevant interpretation. It's that little bit o' mojo that makes it truly magical...From the opening croon of 'The Ghost' to the rollicking 'Help Me Momma' with its hand-jive beat, the achingly beautiful 'If You Stayed' and the hard-driving 'The Ride,' featuring Gary Clark Jr., The Storm delivers a good strong dose of neo-blues that will satisfy all." - Laura B. Whitmore, Guitar World
"The Storm is a record that nimbly walks the line dividing modern and retro rock-soul. As a singer, she's firmly grounded in tradition, a big, powerful belter in the vein of Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin. She also has a fondness for traditional song structures, whether its a 12-bar rave ('Let It Burn') or classic soul ('Hold On'), but The Storm never feels like it's a throwback, thanks to Ward's insistence on camouflaging her fascination with yesteryear in modern dress. While Ward never quite indulges in a full-bore hip-hop/blues fusion, The Storm is littered with fluid rhythmic loops and her delivery can be as fleet as a rapper. Ward supplements these lively modern R&B numbers with nods toward diva pop ('The Storm'), melancholy folk ('If U Stayed'), and stomping Black Keys rock ('Ride,' featuring guitar from Gary Clark, Jr. and also featured in Cars 3), all of which are impressive even if they do carry a faint air of hedging her bets; she's leaving doors open to other styles if the modern R&B doesn't work out. Nevertheless, this versatility is as impressive as Ward's bold performances and sharp songwriting, all elements that make The Storm effective, colorful, and contemporary." - Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com
• Vinyl LP
• Song lyrics printed on back cover
• Bonus track
2. Cannonball (feat. Fantastic Negrito)
3. Help Me Mama
4. The Storm
5. Domino (feat. Fitz)
1. Let It Burn
2. Bag Of Bones
3. She Ain't Me
4. If U Stayed
5. Hold On
6. Ride (feat. Gary Clark Jr.)