The stuff that goes into any one of M Ward's bittersweet recordings contains a handful of rootsy musical traditions -- dusty, blues-inflected country; the rolling rhythms of early rock 'n' roll; the breezy shuffle of acoustic folk. Even though the elements suggest a traditionalist approach, it's the ease with which he navigates them that has helped Ward emerge as one of the most refreshing figures in the post-millennium indie folk scene. His first solo effort, Duet for Guitars #2, was released in 1999, eventually finding an audience beyond Portland through a handful of rereleases. With his sophomore record, 2001's End of Amnesia, and 2003's Transfiguration of Vincent (whose title is a nod to a record by one of Ward's primary influences, John Fahey), his elegant songwriting won international acclaim. His next pair of releases, Transistor Radio (2005) and Post-War (2006), followed in form but examined more robust production aesthetics. He began collaborating with actress Zooey Deschanel in 2006, and after releasing a 2008 record with her as She & Him, titled Volume One, he returned to his solo career with 2009's Hold Time.