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David Ward - Golden Future Time

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 28 / 2 / 2014

David Ward - Golden Future Time
Label: Golden Future Recordings
Format: CD


Irresistible dance-influenced debut album from Canadian singer-songwriter, David Ward

'Golden Future Time' is the debut album from Canadian David Ward. Following on from his ‘The Arrival’ EP trilogy, Ward’s debut album is split into two distinct halves, one titled ‘Golden Future Time’ and the other ‘Lost’. Our copy is on CD, but the way to hear these seven David Ward original songs would surely be on a vinyl album where the songs would neatly be separated over a side of the album each. Ward is one of those young multi-talented musicians who has digested all genres of music from the last six decades, and created not necessarily a sound of his own but one that wears its influences proudly on its sleeve. By taking elements of all that he has heard through the years Ward has produced a remarkably fluid and rewarding listening experience. For all of its blatant influences, the overall sound is simply irresistible. To take the four songs collected under the title of ‘Lost’ first, the bass heavy ‘Slowly through the Night’ opens proceedings slowly, Ward sounding like a bewildered Jeff Buckley has suddenly woken in a 70's recording studio before the song develops into something of a latter period Pink Floyd work-out with elements of Radiohead thrown in for good measure. And a little Beck. It could have so easily been a mess of gigantic proportions, jamming elements of electronica, psych, rock and funk into one song is rarely successful, but in just three and a half minutes Ward touches so many bases so fleetingly it all comes together perfectly; having a knack for never losing sight of a catchy tune, no matter how short, obviously helps too. ‘Lost’, the actual song, follows next, again Ward mixing genres, and again Buckley springs readily to mind still wandering about in that studio somewhere, this time though Ward shows that he’s no mere Buckley copyist. There is any number of 70's soul interpreters starting to come through in those vocals. and also yet again the atmosphere created by the musical backing is not only impressive but mesmerising too. ‘Ghost in the Woods’, the third song on the ‘Lost’ side, has cabaret leanings, albeit somewhat twisted, and reinforces the fact that Ward has been influenced by a larger musical landscape than any of his contempories. The yearning ‘Be Here’ which follows, is a stepping-stone between the strands of soul Ward displays on ‘Lost’ to the three full-blown psych-soul songs that comprise Golden Future Time’s three tracks. If you are going to be as impressed with the ‘Golden Future Time’ side really depends on how you feel about the work of 'Thriller' period Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder when he regularly bothered the charts, and the work of bands like Heatwave and their ilk. That Ward can recapture this sound is never in question. There are times during the actual song ‘Golden Future Time’ when you’d swear Jackson had taken over the vocals for a few seconds, and which sound surprisingly undated. The song is a perfect example of 70's disco, much more enjoyable actually than that description would have you believe. The ballad ‘Bird in the Hand’ follows and Ward manages, just, to keep the listeners mind from thinking George Michael too many times. While much has been made of Ward’s vocals, and rightly so for he is an exceptional singer, what really saves songs such as ‘Bird In The Hand’ from being just another quasi–soul number is the way Ward writes such compelling melodies, Even with Ward’s incredible vocal skills without a decent tune behind them he would not be getting the attention he does today. The closing song, ‘Fly’ brings things full circle really, creating the same bass heavy funk vibe as the opening ‘Slowly through the Night’ the song again proves that Ward understands the music that has influenced his own sound in a way that many are unable to do. At just under a perfect thirty minutes ‘Golden Future Time’ works because Ward is not only a remarkable singer but because he has the confidence to take risks by mixing elements of all the music he so obviously loves into one giant melting pot while never losing sight of his ultimate goal. Which is surely to make music that not only moves the mind but the body too.

Track Listing:-
1 Slowly Through the Night
2 Lost
3 Ghost in the Woods
4 Be Here
5 Golden Future Time
6 Bird in the Hand
7 Fly

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