Andrea Ward’s “Awake At Night” is Riveting
The feeling of dreams—the visual somnambulating of the mind wherever, however it pleases through the stuff of fantasies—is a heady inspiration. It’s time-honored and timeless, that which will never dissipate, save for with the daily unveiling of the midnight scattering of stars and darkness by the aeternal daystar.
A tune like “Awake at Night”, the latest single from Andrea Ward, documents those sensations. It offers its own impressions as a substitution for those of the dream state, and it does so in a multitude of ways to varying effects (much like any dream would). “Night” is the third single released in advance of the January 20th unveiling of Ward’s album Ribbon of Water.
Formal song structure, a good ol’ hook or two, verses, etc., are largely eschewed on this under three minute oblation to the inner musings of the mind. Instead, there’s periods of space and protracted notes (predominantly on the keys). There’s points of pensiveness. There’s room to reflect and ample opportunity to sojourn, even.
Much of Ward’s singing is braced in a surplus of high notes. That sentiment’s particularly acute for the background vocals, which the songstress hits from a number of tracks and angles, as it were. It adds to the dreaminess of this idyll, helping her voice meld into the background of the music while making the experience all the more unreal.
There’s a smattering of other instruments, the vast majority of which are attributed to the musician. There are times, for instance, when the guitar playing perfectly matches the pitch, timbre, and elongation of some of her soprano—although forsooth, this could be the other way around, as well. A bass (but not quite a bass line) wanders its way through periodically, drifting on like the passing of the clouded nimbi, curious as to what else is going on.
The only thing to wake you, or startle the listener back to the current time and space, is the drumming (which was likely handled by PJ Donahue). It’s that fact that keeps this number from being a ballad. The drums go hard, hyper-elevated for a spell in moments, before wending their way back from whence they came. It’s a terrific counterpoint and sense of endorphins for a track that otherwise silently expands, seeping closer and closer to your very mind…