Matt Ward, known by his stage name M. Ward, is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who rose to prominence in the Portland, Oregon music scene. In the summer of 2006, Ward relocated to New Hampshire and in the fall of 2007 subsequently returned to Portland.
He has guested on recordings by Cat Power, Beth Orton (with whom he co-wrote the title track to her album Comfort of Strangers), The Court & Spark, Bright Eyes (with whom he toured on the 2004 Vote For Change tour with R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen), Jenny Lewis (whose debut solo album Rabbit Fur Coat he co-produced), and My Morning Jacket.
In 2006, he contributed a song to, and helped produce the John Fahey tribute album I Am the Resurrection. He also appears on Norah Jones' album Not Too Late, performing backing vocals and guitar on "Sinkin' Soon", and toured as the opener and a member of her "Handsome Band" for the album in the spring of 2007. Also his cover of David Bowie's song "Let's Dance" is featured on the soundtrack of the 2007 New Zealand film Eagle vs Shark. Ward was previously a member of the band Rodriguez with Kyle Field of Little Wings. Their album Swing Like a Metronome was released in 2000 and produced by Jason Lytle of Grandaddy.
In 2004 Ward played guitar for Bright Eyes on a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. During the performance, Bright Eyes' singer Conor Oberst yelled out "M. Ward for President!" This prompted Newsweek to run an article on Ward and his next album Transistor Radio.
From the music blog It's Hard To Find A Friend: "According to the Omaha City Weekly: ...Also with recording plans for the winter is Conor Oberst. Beginning in the new year, Oberst is slated to begin recording two new albums — one a solo record in Mexico (the album is self titled "Connor Oberst") with Jake Bellows playing a role and another with a new band being formed with M Ward".
In 2006, Ward recorded a duet with actress Zooey Deschanel, which collaboration resulted in the formation of the band She & Him. The duo's album Volume One—which Ward produced—was released on Merge Records on March 18, 2008. Ward and Deschanel performed (along with Yo La Tengo) on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on April 22, 2008.