Portland-based musician M. Ward

Portland-based musician M. Ward

Courtesy of the artist

Each week, the Monday Mix features three new songs from the opbmusic broadcast. This time we highlight tracks from a solo album by Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek, Portland musician M. Ward and a posthumous release from Prince.

Buck Meek - “Ruby”

Buck Meek’s (Big Thief) self-titled album has a distinctly small hometown feel. It’s the type of easy, if a bit off-kilter, country song that might echo from a front porch on a summer’s night. It’s also a sweet, drunken bar song about the spark of attraction. Meek mixes endearing lyrics, “I see you fightin’ back a grin. You think you’re foolin’ me,” with delightful instrumentation, transporting the listener to quiet whispers in a dive bar. The tune is indicative of a refreshing, tender album that will have you pulling up your own bar stool to listen closer. Stream the album in its entirety here.

M. Ward - “Miracle Man”

Portland’s M. Ward (also of She & Him) is back at it with a new, self-released album entitled “What a Wonderful Industry.” It’s a musical memory lane. Ward reflects, “this is a record inspired by people in the industry I have known — heroes and villains in equal measure.” The jangly track “Miracle Man” provides the perfect backing for Ward’s gravel vocals. The song envisions a “band of brothers” on a night of lighthearted debauchery, According to Ward, in the industry, “that band could be your life.” Catch him live at McMenamins Edgefield on June 22 and 23.

 Prince - “Mary, Don’t You Weep”

On June 7, Prince’s estate released the first music out of his infamous vault to commemorate what would have been his 60th birthday. The release gives listeners a rare window into Prince’s creative process and allows them to experience something both tender and raw. The first song available is his interpretation of the spiritual, “Mary, Don’t You Weep.” It’s a rendition that encapsulates everything Prince: from delicate, vulnerable vocals to his signature scream, all the while accompanied by a sparse but impassioned piano performance. It precedes a nine-track batch of demo recordings due out on Sept. 21 and simply titled, “Piano & A Microphone: 1983.”