Lauren Ruth Ward serves us major psychedelic angst with her sophomore album Vol. II, which dropped with a bang last Friday. After her debut album Well, Hell was consistently praised by the media and fans alike, Ward built high expectations for herself – and then double-downed on them with a killer 1970s inspired alt-rock record. Today, March 20, Bandcamp is giving 100% sales to artists. Go get Lauren Ruth Ward’s new album!
Lauren Ruth Ward‘s Vol. II also differs from Well, Hell in that it was recorded analog to tape, adding more sonic depth and color to Ward’s timeless soulful energy. The record’s opening track, “Vahalla”, embodies this tone, with its anthemic rock ‘n’ roll melody elevated by captivating vocals that explode with nostalgia.
Lauren Ruth Ward’s voice might shine most, though, on “Wise Gal”, another headbanger filled with howling female rage that channels the range and attitude of a contemporary Janis Joplin. Both tracks contain a controlled chaos and an immense poignancy that make me sentimental for my peak teenage angst, which apparently never fully dissipated.
That being said, “We Are Grown Ups” reflects Ward’s wide-reaching scope, the song epitomizing folk – but make it punk rock – featuring sweet acoustic harmonies contrasted with powerhouse drums that roll like thunder.
Lauren Ruth Ward fuses so many different styles that her sound is uniquely of the moment and also simultaneously nostalgic. It’s clear why fans and bands alike fell for Ward when she emerged in the Echo Park music scene. Ward was and continues to be a true member of the community, taking time to promote the shows of bands she likes – hailing a diverse group of artists from all walks of the east side. Echo Park folk powerhouse Alicia Blue even released a song about Lauren Ruth Ward titled “The Queen of Echo Park”.
Ward has played to sold-out crowds in the U.S. and overseas, sharing stages with artists ranging from the Yeah Yeah Yeahʼs, Shirley Manson, Eddie Vedder, LP, Shakey Graves, and Liz Phair to Keith Urban. When sheʼs not on the road, sheʼs either recording with her new side project, Aging Actress, formed with Chris Hess, singer of LA band SWIMM, or cutting and dyeing hair.
Lauren Ruth Ward has brought a new life to the alt-rock genre, providing a much yearned voice during a lawless time in which we’re all erupting with emotion.
While Ward’s U.S. headline tour has been *cancelled* due to the current global health crisis, her European Dates are still set for May and her summer U.S. Dates will be announced soon. Ward’s Los Angeles show at the Teragram Ballroom is also still scheduled for April 29. See below for current dates.
Words: Jenna Dorn
Follow Lauren Ruth Ward:
Lauren Ruth Ward Tour Dates
APR 29 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom – w/ Alicia Blue, SWIMM
MAY 8 – Manchester, UK – Night People – Tickets
MAY 9 – Edinburgh, UK – Summerhall – Tickets
MAY 10 – Glasgow, UK – Nice N Sleazy – Tickets
MAY 12 – Birmingham, UK – Hare & Hounds – Tickets
MAY 13 – Hove, UK – The Brunswick – Tickets
MAY 14 – London, UK – 100 Club – Tickets
MAY 15 – Rotterdam, Netherlands – Vessel 11 – Tickets
MAY 16 – Ommen, Netherlands – Bosteater Ommen – Tickets
MAY 17 – Groningen, Netherlands – Der Aa Theater – Tickets
MAY 19 – Paris, France – Backstage BY The Mill – Tickets
MAY 21 – Zurich, Switzerland – Dynamo – Tickets
MAY 22 – Bozen, Italy – Pippo Stage – Tickets
MAY 23 – Parma, Italy – Splinter Club – Tickets
MAY 24 – Munich, Germany – Unter Deck – Tickets
MAY 26 – Praha, Czech Republic – Futurum Music Bar – Ticketsz
MAY 27 – Berlin, Germany – Privatclub – Tickets
MAY 28 – Hanover, Germany – Lux – Tickets
MAY 30 – Hamburg, Germany – Nochtwache – Tickets
MAY 31 – Utrecht, Netherlands – Tivoli Vredenburg – Tickets
JUNE 2 – Cologne, Germany – Blue Shell – Tickets
JUNE 4 – Kyiv, Ukraine – Caribbean Club – Tickets
JUNE 6 – Moscow, Russia – Aglomerat – Tickets