Staff pick: Cleveland native Marcus Alan Ward avoids child’s play with Freeze-Tag

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From the July 17, 2014 edition

Cleveland producer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Marcus Alan Ward, who also records under the alias Freeze-Tag, crafts grown-up sounds in spite of his kid-friendly alter ego. His spectral, soul-steeped tracks draw heavily upon electronica and avant R&B, and his lyrics explore the various ways human beings come together and tear painfully apart.

“No Passing (Otto and the Atom),” a track off his forthcoming album Last Night I Grew Tentacles (expected out later this year on Long Division), is indicative of his approach, layering together soulful vocals, skittish, Timbaland-inspired drums and dreamy electronic textures that sparkle and dance like sunlight refracted through a stained glass window.

Corey Grand, Alleyes Manifest and Sweet Teeth open the show.

Photo courtesy of Marcus Alan Ward