You know that feeling when you’re listening to (insert your favorite internet radio station here) and an artist you’ve never heard comes on, and you must immediately look to see who that awesome artist is? That’s what happened to me awhile back when I heard “365 Days (The Summer’s Over)” by ZZ Ward for the first time. That head-bobbin’, toe-tappin’, chick rockin’ breakup song had me clicking that lovely little ‘like’ button. I wanted to ensure I’d get to hear more from this undeniably talented musician. After that, a little more research followed. What I found is musical magnificence that connects right to my core and demands me to sing along.
Ward’s soulful sound is attributed to her diverse musical background. Growing up in a small town in Oregon, she was inspired by blues legends such as Muddy Waters and Big Mama Thornton. She used to sing in her father’s blues band and listen to her brother’s hip-hop records. As a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, she perfectly melds her blues and hip-hop roots for eclectic ear candy. She can be likened to Adele with a bit of a hip-hop twist.
If you’re a fan of Pretty Little Liars, you probably already know what I’m talking about, as two of her songs have been tied to the show. Her debut album Til the Casket Drops, featured the song by the same name as a show promo. Also featured was “Last Love Song”, a beautiful and emotional love ballad about an ending relationship.
Til the Casket Drops also includes other amazing songs ranging in sound. One of these is the notable “Put the Gun Down”, where she begs another woman not to steal her man. This song requires some foot stomping and singing “Ohh, Ohh”. At the other end of her song spectrum is “Cryin’ Wolf”. In this bluesy hip hop fusion and collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar, she commands, “Go on and cry boy.” Then there’s one of my favorite songs, “Move Like U stole It” where she urges a lover to “make a move on me.” If it’s moves she wants. . . it’s moves she will get. I’ll be sure to move, alright. I’ll be head-bobbin’ and toe-tappin’ along to Ms. Ward like a happy little Bunbury Bee. You should too. See you on Sunday, 5:00 at the Main stage!