This one. Right here. No one does transistor radio music better than Matt. No one. Not that it’s a competition.
I never thought I’d say this, but Matt Ward gets Buddy Holly in a way that I’ve rarely heard anyone get Buddy Holly.
Zooey Deschanel sings on this. I’m ain’t going to apologise. I have absolutely no problem with her, cos I like the openness, the on-edge quality of her singing voice. It ain’t sophisticated, that’s what I mean. It has a child-like delight. That’s really neither here nor there, though. I like this song because this song gets Buddy Holly in a way that few get Buddy Holly – may be Dan Sartain if I’m pressed, but that’s a whole other side. And yes, it’s familiar like a friend you used to go out bowling with, and hug, and weep whiskey tears with, and you ain’t seen for 20 years or more but just know that if you do, that weeping’s going to start anew, you’re so fucking happy to be with her again.
Now, I know nothing of Matt’s home life, not even to the extent of whether he lives in Portland anymore. But I’m willing to bet that he’s a dad. Both this song and the one following it on the new album (A Wasteland Companion), ‘I Get Ideas’, seem directly aimed at a baby or toddler. Of course, that could be my own situation talking. Obviously. But man, when he rasps in that Blind Blake rasp of his, and those distorted transistor radio guitars come ringing through I just want to whirl round and round our one room with eight-month-old Lauren in my arms, and sing rapturously to the heavens above.
I mean, dudes. I could complain that Matt’s now got so obsessed with capturing the spirit of times gone by (via the success of She And Him) that it’s overcome his solo muse but fuck man, why would I want to do that when it throws up such gorgeous, inflamed songs as ‘Sweetheart’ that make me yearn RIGHT NOW for my three beautiful children and wife? Obsession is good. Really good, when it leads t0 music like this. I can’t work out if any of it’s a steal, like I could give a shit.
And man. His voice. You know what I’m sayin’?
Here’s some Blind Blake for you all.
P.S. As Jeff Tartakov just reminded me on Facenbook, Matt Ward also gets Daniel Johnston in a way that I’ve rarely heard anyone get Daniel Johnston.