Since quitting his job as an executive at a tech company in New York City and moving to L.A. in 2016, Christopher Ward — working simply as Ward — has released a steady stream of singles that straddle the alt-rock and pop worlds while keeping their feet on solid conceptual ground. Despite gaining some attention for the songs, building an online following and assembling a live band, Ward is still trying to crack the code of his new endeavor. “I arrived late to this music game and don’t know the rules,” Ward acknowledges. “I feel an urgency to grow as quickly as possible. It’s ultimately been a positive, but I admit it’s also been a downright bummer.”
The whole process can be disorienting — which brings us to the video for Ward’s new single, “Sober.” If nothing else, the self-directed video, shot by David Rivera, deserves plaudits for set design. “Sober” was filmed at 90-degree angles using sets constructed at Ward’s house and studio and on the street in Culver City. It’s enough to drive you up a wall.
“I’ve never been lower / since I’ve been sober,” Ward laments over a wonky synth line, arriving at that kernel of truth anyone who’s gotten straight knows: “No one ever tells what to be without your booze.” As the video suggests, sometimes defying gravity can feel easier than living with reality.
“Sober” prefaces the release of Ward’s new EP, “The Second Set,” the follow-up to his 2017 debut and due April 15.
||| Watch: The video for “Sober”
||| Also: Stream “Slowfast”