I’ve been a fan of Pennsylvania native Zsuzsanna Eva Ward — aka ZZ Ward — from the first time I heard her 2013 “Criminal” EP. The talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist built on that success with her “Til the Casket Drops” full-length debut that seamlessly blended elements of pop, blues, R&B amd hip-hop into a tasty sonic stew.
That first record spawned a trio of hit singles — “Put the Gun Down,” “365 Days” and “Last Love Song” — and helped Ward land plum supporting gigs for the likes of Fitz & The Tantrums, Eric Clapton and Gary Clark Jr. She continues her upward career trajectory with new EP “Love and War,” which effectively whets the appetite for Ward’s sophomore LP “This Means War,” slated to drop next spring.
There isn’t a clunker anywhere on the four-track, 17-minute “Love and War” — though be advised that there’s more salty language than you’d expect from an artist in the Hollywood Records stable. Ward launches the proceedings with “Love 3X” and “Lonely” and then knocks it out of the park with lead single “Rescue” and “Marry Well.”
“‘Rescue’ was a song that I just couldn’t run from anymore,” Ward notes. “To date, it has been my most vulnerable moment. Through all the doubts and insecurities that I feel in myself, I knew at that moment, I had finally found something in my life worth fighting for and someone that accepted me for who I was.”
This is another winner from an up-and-coming star. (Jeffrey Sisk)