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'Through the Dark,' Mark Ward 

Through the Dark proves why Mark Ward is considered one of Spokane's finest musicians.

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It shouldn’t be a surprise at this point. Mark Ward has proven — more than proven — that he’s worth a damn in the last few years. But despite knowing that fact, I wasn’t quite prepared for what I heard from Through the Dark, the songwriter’s latest album. It’s a dreamy thing, skillfully wrought from the fire of a delicate heart. Ward is gripped by optimism and hope here — bobbing and weaving in and out of light and dark metaphors across the entire record.

Through the Dark, it seems, documents Ward’s search for the bright spots: the beacons of light hidden inside of us; some warm patches of sunshine to lie in. Ward, as a singer, breathes light and life into these songs. He’s a bright-eyed, clear-headed vocalist. But also the antithesis of a show-boater: When Ward leads a song, he does it unobtrusively. He never sings over his band but amongst it, his vocals warmly wrapped in a tapestry of sound. Through the Dark is a star-flecked summer sky, and Ward is the shooting star blazing across it.

DOWNLOAD: “Sun and the Sound”

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