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Albums Of The Week: Jad Fair & Samuel Locke Ward | Happy Hearts

Love is in the air as the two prolific singer-songwriters join forces on an upbeat LP.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Singer-songwriters Jad Fair and Samuel Locke Ward have recorded a collaborative album titled Happy Hearts — a collection of clever, catchy love songs that are the very definition of joy.

Happy Hearts is the first of what will prove to be many collaborations between hyper-prolific artists Fair (Half Japanese) and Ward. After connecting with one another during Fair’s marathon 2021 effort to complete 100 albums in a calendar year, the two recorded one song each week, producing an eclectic array of tunes that moves from bubblegum synth to capricious noise-rock. Tying this variety of moods and sound together is that most universal of themes: Love. Through Fair’s instantly recognizable voice and unique lyrical mind, Happy Hearts blushes with the joy of fresh romance and smolders with the warm glow of a long term relationship. No weepy breakup anthems or ruminations on the ones that got away. This album is all donuts and bluebirds and celebrations and dreams come true. Or as Fair himself says, “Happy Hearts is a very positive album. It’s good to stay positive.”

Ward tells how the project began, “In April of 2021 I contacted Jad about starting a pen pal band with me. He was in the midst of a project where he was recording 100 albums that year. He told me that he was currently too busy to record with me but to write him back in a couple months and ask again. I did just that and Jad agreed to record with me. He said he had time to do one song a week. And so it was that I began recording one song a week every week with Jad Fair, which is a schedule we have kept up to this day. “

In the mid ’70s, Fair and his brother David unleashed Half Japanese as a blistering, art-damaged, pre-punk group. He followed that with a series of albums both solo and with David. He is also known for his collaborations with artists such as Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fan Club, Daniel Johnston, DQE, R. Stevie Moore, Moe Tucker, Mosquito, Strobe Talbot, Jason Willett, Kramer, Danielson, Tenniscoats, Brave Combo, Norman Blake, The Pastels, The Tinklers, HIFIKLUB, Naofumi Ishimaru, Half Japanese and Samuel Locke Ward. He’s released over 200 albums.

Not content with being a pretty-boy rock legend, Jad is also an accomplished artist, and has had 16 books of his art published in Europe, Japan and America. Ward is a prolific songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer nd performance artist from Iowa.”