Within 11 seconds of hearing "Did I Offend You" you are hooked because at that precise moment Lauren Ruth Ward's voice grabs you by the throat. Her tone part sagely, part wounded bird, with a hint of gravel captivates. It is the way bends her sentences, her pronunciation of simple words molding them into something else and those razor blade pipes that can soar one minute and get very internal the next all the while spitting out words, stories that you want to hear and feel. I will always contend that apart from a great song it is the lead singer's vocal performance that elevates it to something special. Great voices like Neil Young, or Dylan or Sam Herring or Bowie or Nick Cave or Janis Joplin or Chrissy Hynde and more can shape, sculpt songs. Lauren Ruth Ward has one of those kinds of voices.
Apart from that captivating voice, "Did I Offend You" written by Ward and her songwriting partner Eduardo Rivera feels like a wanderlust song first moving on the rails and then shifts bigger, the cadence moving with tambourine and Wards breath as percussion. Then it really takes off, the production thickening in an almost Phil Spector sort of way. I thought a bit of Kevin Morby on steroids. Wonderful production and fuck, that voice.
Tour dates below-
The Echo, Los Angeles (Draemings Residency).
KCRW's School Night at Bardot, Los Angeles.
Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, California.
U Street Music Hall, Washington DC (opening up for LP).
Bowery Ballroom, New York City (opening up for LP).
El Rey, Los Angeles (opening for LP).
The Echo, Los Angeles (Moon Honey Residency).