ZZ Ward Releases 'Dirty Shine,' Ushering a Fresh Era for the Renowned Artist

Article Contributed by jbleicher.com | Published on Saturday, September 9, 2023

Today, ZZ Ward's highly anticipated album 'Dirty Shine' has officially landed on streaming platforms, released via her own Dirty Shine Records. A cinematic 11-song album, spilling over with an intoxicating cocktail of bold electronic textures, rugged hip-hop beats, fierce rhymes and pop hooks, acoustic Delta blues riffs, sensual R&B singing, and juke joint harmonica, ‘Dirty Shine’ represents a new chapter in ZZ’s career, as she embraces life as a new mother and removes the constraints of the major label system.
To celebrate the release, ZZ has shared a riveting Official Album Trailer directed by her brother, Adam William Ward. Capturing the essence of classic horror films, the trailer delivers a tongue-in-cheek nod to cult classics like Knives Out and Halloween, showcasing another layer to ZZ’s expansive creative realm. Continuing her ambitious endeavor to blend music and cinema, this album trailer stands as a testament to the seamless collaboration between ZZ and Adam. As seen with the thrilling music video for "On One," their shared vision has once again manifested in a captivating amalgamation of sights and sounds.

ZZ is hitting the road to share the sounds of 'Dirty Shine' with fans nationwide. Kicking things off at Philadelphia's World Cafe Live on September 6th, the tour weaves its way through a diverse range of cities and venues. Highlights include an evening at New York's Gramercy Theatre on September 9th, a mid-tour stop in Chicago at Park West on September 16th, and a stop in Nashville at The Basement East on September 24th. After connecting with fans across the country, the tour will wrap at the Belly Up in Solana Beach on November 18th. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.zzward.com/

ZZ started singing the blues at the age of 8, inspired by her father’s record collection. At 16, seeing the similarities between blues and hip-hop, she ventured out to the clubs in her hometown of Eugene and began singing and performing with acts around town. She busked, booked her own tours, sold demos in parking lots, and slept on an air mattress at her brother’s place while hustling for shows. It wasn’t long before she became a buzzed-about artist, earning a record deal with Hollywood Records. She quickly broke into Billboard’s Top 40 with her debut release, and her sophomore album peaked at #1 on the Billboard Blues chart, highlighted by singles featuring GRAMMY-Award winners Fantastic Negrito and Gary Clark Jr.

In ZZ Ward’s fan community the phrase “dirty shine” means being your authentic self; imperfections and vulnerabilities all included. Recently, “dirty shine” became something of a mission statement for ZZ. “The concept of ‘dirty shine’ is larger than the record,” she explains. “When I put out my first album, my fans and I started saying we are ‘dirty shine.’ It was about embracing who you are—we are all dirty, a little rough around the edges. I’ve always had this vibe, but I feel like this time in my life is like ‘dirty shine’ on steroids. I can fully be myself, and nothing can stop me.”

Now, the singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist is also a video director, record label owner, and even a milliner. Her iconic fedoras, once a source of confidence on stage, now serve as a personal expression of her newfound energy and confidence, as she handcrafts and sells fedoras directly to her fans, sharing the gift of "confidence" that these hats have bestowed upon her. By removing the influence of big corporations, ZZ has fostered a profound bond with her fan community, engaging with them directly every morning, and strengthening the connection that fuels her artistic vision.
The addition of motherhood has brought profound changes to ZZ's life, as she discovers a new connection within the community of parents. This shift in perspective has fueled her determination, as she recognizes that her music now carries a deeper meaning beyond her own self-expression. Balancing the demands of motherhood and a music career has required ZZ to find equilibrium, but as a touring musician and a mother, she understands the importance of maintaining flexibility. With Bruce Kalmick, Why & How / Red Light Management, leading the charge on the management side, and her husband, the GRAMMY-winning songwriter Evan Kidd Bogart, always in her corner, this time of creativity and personal growth is especially meaningful.
Her third studio release, ‘Dirty Shine’ was produced by a who’s who of award-winning producers, and frequent collaborators of ZZ’s, including Oscar, GRAMMY and Emmy-winning producer/composer Ludwig Goransson (Oppenheimer, Black Panther, Mandalorian, Childish Gambino, Haim), Oscar and GRAMMY-winning producer Mike Elizondo (Encanto, Twenty One Pilots, Carrie Underwood), GRAMMY-winning writer/producer Jason Evigan (Troye Sivan, Dan + Shay), GRAMMY-nominated Dave Bassett (Elle King, Vance Joy, Alice Merton), iconic hip-hop producer S1 (Eminem, Drake, Lorde) and the alt-rock producer-duo Mark Jackson & Ian Scott (Bishop Briggs, Dorothy).

‘Dirty Shine’ by ZZ Ward
1. Welcome to Dirty Shine
2. Ride or Die (feat. Vic Mensa)
3. Fadeaway
4. On One (feat. Jean Deaux)
5. Slow Hum Hymnal
6. Dead or Alive
7. Forget About Us
8. Friends Like These
9. Baby Don’t
10. North Bank Blues
11. OverdoZZe
12. Cut Me Loose
13. Tin Cups (feat. Aloe Blacc)
14. Don’t Let Me Down

ZZ Ward – Tour Dates
Wednesday, Sep. 6 - World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
Friday, Sep. 8 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
Saturday, Sep. 9 - Gramercy Theatre - New York, NY
Sunday, Sep. 10 - Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
Tuesday, Sep. 12 - House of Blues Cleveland - Cleveland, OH
Wednesday, Sep. 13 - XL Live - Harrisburg, PA
Friday, Sep. 15 - Saint Andrew's Hall - Detroit, MI
Saturday, Sep. 16 - Park West - Chicago, IL
Sunday, Sep. 17 - Bourbon & Beyond 2023 - Louisville, KY
Tuesday, Sep. 19 - Majestic Theatre - Madison, WI
Wednesday, Sep. 20 - Woolys - Des Moines, IA
Thursday, Sep. 21 - Fine Line - Minneapolis, MN
Friday, Sep. 22 - Madrid Theater - Kansas City, MO
Sunday, Sep. 24 - The Basement East - Nashville, TN
Monday, Sep. 25 - Delmar Hall - Saint Louis, MO
Wednesday, Sep. 27 - Buckhead Theatre - Atlanta, GA
Wednesday, Nov. 1 - Marquee Theatre - Tempe, AZ
Friday, Nov. 3 - Fox Theatre - Boulder, CO
Saturday, Nov. 4 - Gothic Theatre - Englewood, CO
Monday, Nov. 6 - The State Room - Salt Lake City, UT
Wednesday, Nov. 8 - Knitting Factory Concert House - Boise, ID
Thursday, Nov. 9 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA
Friday, Nov. 10 - Knitting Factory Spokane - Spokane, WA
Sunday, Nov. 12 - Revolution Hall - Portland, OR
Tuesday, Nov. 14 - Ace Of Spades - Sacramento, CA
Friday, Nov. 17 - The Roxy Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Nov. 18 - Belly Up - Solana Beach, CA