It’s difficult to pick one track to highlight off Observer Drift’s debut release Corridors. This work is the caliber of what seasoned musicians hope to achieve after working years at their craft. Collin Ward, the 20-year-old mind behind this project, just seems to have a natural gift for melody, rhythm and composition. Through 13 tracks, the listener floats across a bed of sounds, from standard chill-wave popularized by Washed Out and Toro Y Moi to 80s-influenced pop like you hear on “Tree Shadow.”
In the same breath, these songs aren’t like anything you’ve heard before. It would be easy for Mr. Ward to fall into the sonic trap that this genre of music so quickly claims. But there is a sense of surprise each time a new cut starts — the range of influences really is remarkable. “We Make Believe” even begs comparisons to a more reverby Radio Dept. The description of the album on his Bandcamp reasserts this diversity, and Ward explains that each song attempts to reflect different side of his personality. Fully assembled on his own, he’s now in the process of getting a live band together. The guy hasn’t played any shows, the buzz surrounding him is remarkable and the media attention is growing by the day.
As a local music listener, something like Observer Drift is extremely exciting: a fully realized album out of Bloomington, a city not really on anyone’s radar outside the Midwest. Want more information on the backstory of this project? Stay tuned later today for an interview with Collin Ward conducted by Andrea Swensson.
Download “Corridors” from our Song of the Day page and subscribe to the podcast while you’re at it. We’ll be premiering a new track from Observer Drift on The Local Show starting at 6 p.m. CST this Sunday night.