ZZ Ward’s recently released Criminal EP is laying the groundwork for her debut full-length due October 16 on Boardwalk/Hollywood Records, and the unanimous praise keeps rolling in. Ward burst onto the scene earlier this year with an eclectic mixtape, Eleven Roses, boldly reinterpreting some of her favorite hip-hop tracks. Making no apologies for straddling two distinct genres, Ward set the tone for her unique artistry and the reaction was immediate, “Newcomer ZZ Ward is equal parts throwback blues wailer, steely hip-hop crooner and razor-sharp pop belter,” PureVolume raved, while Esquire pegged Ward as a 2012 Artist to Watch, “…because I don’t know of any other blues singer bold enough to belt over the beat of Tyler the Creator’s ‘Yonkers.’”.
In March, Ward made her live debut at this year’s SxSW music convention where she wowed the audiences, landed a coveted segment on NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly” and prompted NPR to call her a “star.” With the momentum of her SxSW performances, Ward further honed her chops hitting the road with Allen Stone followed by a stint with Fitz and the Tantrums as well as dates with labelmates Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Live, Ward’s gritty blues-soaked, hip-hop inspired repertoire explodes as her dynamic vocals captivate with a force.
Til The Casket Drops, features a staggering array of collaborators including Ryan Tedder, Kendrick Lamar, Ludwig Goransson, Pete Rock, Theron “Neff-U” Feemster, Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest), Blended Babies and Fitz (of Fitz and the Tantrums) and takes the listener through a myriad of emotions, some heartbreaking (“Last Love Song”), some provocative (“Charlie Ain’t Home”) but always with a sense of confidence. “I decided to call my album Til The Casket Drops,” notes Ward. “Not only was it the first song I wrote for this record but it really captures the whole story in one song. This album is about the ups and downs of relationships, they’re not always perfect and sometimes you have to fight for great love.”
Til The Casket Drops was recently hand-picked as the song featured in the bed of the official trailer for ABC Family’s runaway hit, “Pretty Little Liars,” and resulted in a fan-favorite music video tailored to the series.