M. Ward’s brand of freak-folk explores a bit on his brand new “Post-War,” an improvement on last year’s “Transistor Radio” and a headfirst plunge into old country roads and ditches filled with dust. Some compare his voice to Tom Waits—he’s a bit too breathy for that—but the attitude is there, one of a songwriter bent on selling tales of drifters and demons. He covers Daniel Johnston’s “To Go Home,” a fitting match to be sure, lending a haunt to the song that Johnston couldn’t do himself. His finger-picking of the acoustic guitar is devilishly challenging and soulful, and when he adds other instruments—strings, other guitars—he reaches beyond what he’s done before. “Neptune’s Net,” an instrumental beach party song that changes the tone of the record, if only briefly, is a nice addition to his repertoire as well. (Tom Lynch)
September 8 at Metro.