M. Ward, or the “him” in Zooey Deschanel’s band She & Him, has been putting out some subjectively less than stellar solo stuff recently. His vintage solo work like “The First Time I Ran Away,” on the other hand, echoes waves of calming originality. In songs like this or “Chinese Translation,” M. Ward is renowned for writing fantastic ballads that that use unrealistic imagery yet still make the listener feel like they are being read a story that pertains to their own life. M. Ward describes the song as a metaphor for what he’s had to leave behind and carry with him throughout his extensive musical travels, thusly being his struggle in determining what he wants versus what he needs, creatively or otherwise.
“The First Time I Ran Away” has always been one of my favorite songs to listen to and forget about the world. I can’t get enough of the “Into the Wild”-esque concluding moral where M. Ward discovers human interaction to be vital in any travel or general lifelong pursuit. I don’t care that I only have a couple weekends left in college, I’m looking to relax as much as possible to songs like this during the next couple days…and that’s no April Fools joke.