Aidin Vaziri | After releasing a handful of criminally underappreciated indie-rock albums, M. Ward was lifted into the spotlight last year via his collaboration with Hollywood starlet Zooey Deschanel on the album “She & Him.” Now the groggy-voiced Portland, Ore., songwriter returns with his sixth solo release, “Hold Time,” which sounds like an AM radio broadcast from another time and features guest spots by Lucinda Williams, Rachel Blumberg and Deschanel. This year, he also hopes to release an album with Monsters of Folk, his side project with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and Jim James of My Morning Jacket.
Q: When you were touring with “She & Him,” were you OK with all the people walking past you to get their pictures taken with Zooey Deschanel?
A: Absolutely. I love having the focus on the guitar and arrangements and leaving the vocals to a pro.
Q: You’ve also worked with Norah Jones, Jenny Lewis, Chan Marshall, Neko Case and Lucinda Williams. Do you have a policy of collaborating only with hot chicks?
A: You know, I’m very happy to let the songs dictate where they want to go and how they want to be produced and what kind of voice they need. I have just as many male collaborators as female collaborators. Continue reading.