Happy Valentine’s Day from M. Ward and Morning Becomes Eclectic

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M. Ward’s lyrics and we asked the acclaimed singer-songwriter to pick a few of his favorite love songs for an hour-long Valentine’s Day special airing on Morning Becomes Eclectic today.

I’ve had a “sneak listen” and the singer’s trademark smoky voice works really nice on the radio too!

You can listen to it on demand here and read more about how he put the list together. The full set list is below.

Matt, I noticed your song choices are all over the place genre wise but most are older. Why is that?

“I asked myself that when I was making the list. Where are all of the modern songs? I think it stems from the fact that ever since I was a kid I’ve been listening to older recordings. Stuff was recorded better. And that’s a huge part of it. The best sounding songs made the playlist. I have very particular things that I listen for in a song and there’s normally not much room for digital recording.”

What is it you listen for?

“You want to be moved in some way. It’s like watching a film, the ones that you remember are the ones that surprised you or brought up some kind of emotion you didn’t know you had.”

He made sure to add that he doesn’t necessarily have a bias against new music and there have been a lot of incredible songs recorded over the last couple decades, but he takes issue with the recording methods and the “digital revolution”.

“I think the digital revolution will pass. In the meantime, there is no one really speaking up for analogue except for these old records. I’m happy to be a spokesman for analog.”

Is there a recipe for a perfect love song?

“The recipe is pure emotion. Anything that’s calculated or cerebal, save those for a different playlist.”

Is there a song that makes you cry?

“The Beach Boys make me cry. I can’t explain it. The simplicity is just so beautiful that it makes grown men weep.”

What is your typical valentines day?

“It depends on where I am in the world. Good food is always a great place to start.”

What do you consider romantic? Walks on the beach?

“I think anything can be romantic. It all depends on the approach. Normally the things that billboards tell you are romantic are just not that romantic.”

What’s your advice for sad singles on Valentine’s Day?

“I would say turn off your TV, turn off your computer. It’s ok to keep your radio on. Get outside the house and go somewhere you have never found yourself before.”

M. Ward has collaborated with an incredible array of musicians, partnering with Zooey Deschanel as She & Him and Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and Jim James (My Morning Jacket) for indie supergroup Monsters of Folk (to name a few).

His 2009 solo album “Hold Time was a gem and we’re thrilled there is another one on the horizon. His new effort “A Wasteland Companion” will be out on April 10 and here is a preview, the video for The First Time I Ran Away”.


M. Ward’s Valentine’s Day Playlist (Here the songs on Spotify)

Ramones – “Baby I Love You” – End of the Century
Ronettes – “When I Saw You” — Back to Mono
James Brown — “I Know Its True” – Star Time
Buddy Holly – “True Love Ways – The Definitive Collection
Randy Newman – “I Miss You” – Bad Love
Elmore James — “I Can’t Hold Out” – The Sky is Crying
Nilsson – “Without You” – Nilsson Schmillson
Lucinda Williams – “Something About What Happens When We Talk” – Dark Side of life
Dusty Springfield – “This Girls in Love With You – Dusty in London
Nina Simone – “The Twelfth of Never” –  The Best of Nina Simone: The Colpix Years
Howlin’ Wolf – “You’ll Be Mine” – Moanin’ in the Moonlight
John Coltrane –  “Its Easy to Remember” –  Ballads
Yo La Tengo — “You Can Have it All” — “And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out”
Everly Brothers – “Let it Be Me” – Rock-A-Ballads