One of the perks working in a bookstore is that we get sent all kinds of freebie promo items. Usually this means books, but occasionally we also get sample CDs. One such CD that I picked up a couple months back featured a number of new lady artists that I had never heard of before. I popped it in my car's player on my way home that night and was immediately impressed.
The first track was called "Til the Casket Drops." The lyrics - specifically the use of the of word casket - certainly caught my attention, but it was the singer's voice that really grabbed me. West Coast based ZZ Ward's voice is strong, full, and fearless. Her bluesy tones and attitude fill a void in my life that I didn't realize was there. When the second track "Move Like U Stole It," also by ZZ Ward started, I knew I had to find out more about this woman.
Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of info out about her yet. Her debut album Til the Casket Drops wasn't due out until October 16th (coincidentally, right before my birthday). Wikipedia couldn't even tell me what ZZ stood for. I found her Facebook page and clicked like, something I do very rarely because I'm terrible at keeping up with celebrities I "like," which is how I discovered she had played in Ann Arbor the week before at the Blind Pig. Ugh! Come back, ZZ! I want to see you perform live!
More digging turned up this video on YouTube for the song "Til the Casket Drops" that played on ABC as a promo for season three of their show Pretty Little Liars. This was my first real glimpse of ZZ, and I was struck by her style. Love the hat! Love the jacket! Love the hair, too. She is one classy young woman. Also, I think the video was pretty seamlessly combined with clips from the show (which I have never seen), so good job on that end, too.
Naturally, one video led to another, and I found this great acoustic of "Move Like U Stole It," a song that I find endearing because it is about seducing a nerdy guy. The mentions of both "glasses" and a "bow tie" of course make me think of Doctor Who, too. Hey, I can't help being a bit nerdy myself. It's in my blood!
If you're into Soundcloud, ZZ Ward has two sets posted, her mixtape Eleven Roses that features some, but not all of the songs also on her debut album, and her EP Criminal. As I said above Til the Casket Drops came out on October 16th, and my dear roommate Kimmy bought it for me for my birthday. I love it. It's one of those albums I can play in my car and dance to. In fact, I am not sure I could sit still while any of these songs are playing. Even "Last Love Song," a slower, prettier tune, has my body grooving.
If you enjoy strong female vocals and/or a more bluesy tone to your music, check this woman out! I really look forward to following her career. I hope you do, too.
Video for "Put the Gun Down":