The new single from Lauren Ruth Ward is an intrepid coming-out party, a harbinger of rock to come. The Baltimore-bred, L.A.-based singer-songwriter comes arms with a voice that oozes ferocity, vulnerability and everything in between — and though it was mostly harnessed on the acoustic EP, released in January, her spring collaboration with Polarcode, “I Crave You,” revealed the range longtime followers knew was there. Ward first got notice posting covers to YouTube — (here she is tying Zep’s “Whole Lotta Love” in knots three years ago) — and earned industry notice and writing collaborations with LP, Linda Perry and Lauren Christy from The Matrix.
Now fronting an indie-blues quartet, Ward performs as if she’s been shot out of a cannon, or at least unleashed. (At her residency night Tuesday, she clambered atop the bar at Harvard & Stone to hold forth.) “Make Love to Myself” is the first single from a full-length planned for 2017; it was produced by Grey Goon (U.S. Royalty, Champagne Fever) and features guitarist Eduardo Rivera (ex-Paperhaus). “‘Make Love’ is a cathartic middle finger to those who lack social cues,” Ward told Ones to Watch, where the video for the song premiered. “I wrote it after encountering a stranger who made me feel uncomfortable. They were shamelessly hitting on me and trying to convince me that just because I was there, I was there for them.”
The video, by the way, was filmed by Zack Yan at Harvard & Stone and directed by the singer herself. It stars Ward, includes a cameo by the aforementioned LP and features Rivera as a bartender. It’s hard to believe Ward would need liquid courage for anything, but on this mercurial night it seems to have helped.
||| Watch: The video for “Make Love to Myself”
||| Also: Stream the song
||| Also: Watch the video for “Crave You,” her collaboration with Polarcode
||| Live: Lauren Ruth Ward winds up her December residency with a show Tuesday night at Harvard & Stone.