Quiet In The Valley, On The Shores The End Begins & The Electric Six
Out August 2nd, 2011 via Tembloroso Recordings
Jim Ward – At The Drive-In founding member and guitarist, Sparta and Sleepercar frontman, and solo artist – has continually pushed himself creatively. Never resting on his laurels and never afraid of change, he has been willing to explore new avenues. His first full-length solo record Quiet In The Valley, On The Shores The End Begins & The Electric Six follows these values down a new path. The culmination of five years of recording, the album spans two discs: the three EPs of his solo trilogy – 2007’s Quiet, 2009’s In The Valley, On The Shores, and 2011’s The End Begins – combined into one album, with an additional companion disc of select tracks gone electric.
The EPs document his transition to writing quieter, more autobiographical acoustic songs after years of creating and performing loud, feedback-filled rock songs. The new softer songs push his creative envelope as both a singer and songwriter, and explore themes of home, family, and nurturing roots. A strong influence was recent time spent mainly in El Paso after dedicating his life since age 17 to making records and touring the world. Ward self-produced each EP along with good friend and bandmate Gabriel González in their Clap of Thunder studio in El Paso, TX.
Employing the DIY ethic he learned through his first band, At The Drive-In, Ward initially self-released the Quiet EP via his own imprint through Doghouse (Civil Defense League) in a limited edition run that quickly sold out. In 2008, he re-released the EP digitally through his recently launched Tembloroso Creative Lab website, www.Tembloroso.com, which he uses as a platform to provide a worldwide voice for other El Paso artists and musicians. “It’s more satisfying to self-release and I like having the quality control,” Ward says. “I don’t mind the extra work that comes with it – it keeps me grounded.” The Quiet EP sold out through the site as well, as did the other two EPs later upon release.
Bolstered by this response, seeking exposure for the songs to a wider audience, and increasingly confident in his ability to release his own records, Ward decided to re-package them together in one album and record electric versions of select songs. These re-recorded tracks form The Electric Six, the counterpart to Quiet In The Valley, On The Shores The End Begins, and they capture nuanced, multiple facets and represent the live band with which Ward will tour this summer.
It was in 2006, while touring around Sparta’s third album Threes, that Ward first began writing the Quiet EP, and it was a personal challenge to write non-aggressive, softer sounding songs. Ward finished up writing and recording the first Sleepercar record, West Texas, during the last days of touring with Sparta as well, and released it through Civil Defense League in 2008.
Following the Sleepercar tours – which were a mixture of small shows (sleeping on floors and in bad hotels) and bigger tours (such as opening for Coldplay) – in 2009 Ward found additional outlets for his creativity. He opened a bar, Hope and Anchor, in El Paso with his wife and a friend. Also, he and González, realizing their daydream about opening a recording studio in their hometown, started producing records at Clap Of Thunder – working with young local bands like The Lusitania and The Royalty. The same year, he made the second EP, In the Valley, On The Shores. The final EP, The End Begins, came together quickly over late 2010, initially delayed by his busy new schedule as bar-owner.
With his new release finished and ready to see the light of day, Ward will spend most of late 2011 on the road in support. Quiet In The Valley, On The Shores The End Begins & The Electric Six is preceded by first single Broken Songs, released digitally on June 21st.