No bones about it: I have long been a fan of ZZ Ward’s ragged, righteous brand of dirty, blues pop the likes of which have made her a sensation – if not yet exactly a Taylor/Miley/Ariana grade superstar – courtesy sage, raging albums such as 2012’s “Til The Casket Drops,” and 2017’s “The Storm.” That the latter of those featured the soulful smash, “Domino” with Fitz of Fitz and The Tantrums, has made her a chart contender.
But for those of us who have dug Ward since she left the wilds of Abington, PA for points Northwest (ask my dosage MAGAZINE E-I-C all about his and his fam’s days at Abington High – he swears he’ll produce his yearbook photo), ZZ’s work is tops and torn down (in a low down blues manner) no matter what position she holds.
“The Dark” is one of three new songs Ward has released since December 2019, such as the slinky, slow “Break Her Heart” and the abrasive, sassy “Sex & Stardust”, and is the first burst of fresh, funky music since her 2017 album, “The Storm.”
In her press notes, Ward claimed that, “When I wrote ‘The Dark’ I felt alone, betrayed and uncertain of my future. I knew I had to pick myself up and keep going but I was scared. Within a matter of days, our lives have been turned upside down by the global pandemic. ‘The Dark’ is about facing the unknown, leaving fear behind and living in hope.”
Sounds about right for the confusion and solitude of COVID-19.
Ward was in the middle of her “The Stardust Tour,” with sold-out dates in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver when due to swelling concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak, she postponed the remainder of her show dates. Rescheduled gigs will be announced shortly. Having witnessed past Ward gigs at the Tower and World Café Live, here’s hoping her hometown is on that list.