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Friday, April 20, 2007

M. Ward, “Chinese Translation”

posted by on April 20 at 13:59 PM

The term might be overused, but M. Ward’s “Chinese Translation” is truly timeless. Like a few Cat Stevens and—I hate to say it but have to—James Taylor classics, it’s got the kind of gentle but insistent melody and narrative lyrics that oughta make it a go-to acoustic strummer at summer camp campfire singalongs or family road trips, easily interpreted by curious tweens and sentimentally cherished by knowing older folks.

Ward’s voice is soft and strong, like folded leather. Jim James of My Morning Jacket sings gentle background vocals; steel guitar adds dreamy Polynesian exotica to Ward’s acoustic.

As if the song wasn’t sweet enough, Portland illustrator/animator Joel Trussell created a beautiful video to go along with it. If you don’t know Trussell’s work, this is a great introduction; dude’s brilliant (and if you haven’t seen his badass vid for Jason Forrest’s “War Photograher” you really should check it out). He and Ward were meant to go together.

“Chinese Translation” offers a tenderhearted entre into the weekend and is most definitely the best song ever (this week). Enjoy.

RSS icon Comments


Really lovely. Thanks!

Posted by flamingbanjo | April 20, 2007 2:41 PM

hell yeah. i still fuck with that 'helicopter' joint.

Posted by lar | April 20, 2007 3:58 PM

-- that is indeed a great way to start the weekend, thanx jz!!!

: )

Posted by Aaro)))n Edge | April 20, 2007 4:54 PM

I love this track. Not only is it a very memorable tune, the video was pretty awesome too. We featured it on our site when we launched in September because of how very cool the song is.

Great post.

Posted by Shawn | April 22, 2007 8:19 AM

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