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ZZ Ward was slated to release This Means War in March 2016 as the follow-up to her successful 2012 debut album. After the release of an EP, Love and War, in Fall 2015, promotion and development waned, and the full record’s release date came and went. After a year of relative silence, Ward burst back onto the scene in March 2017 with “The Deep”, creating buzz for a new sophomore album. A second version of “The Deep” featuring rapper Joey Purp and “Help Me Mama” were also pre-released as promotional singles. On April 17, Ward took to Instagram to announce an upcoming tour and the album’s official title: The Storm, dropping June 30, 2017.

In an interview with Artist Direct, Ward elaborated on the formation of ZZ2:

The inspiration for my new record came from my past relationships, struggles and heartbreaks. Surviving all of these unsuccessful relationships has shaped who I am today. I took a lot of that resentfulness and bitterness that I felt after those relationships were over and hid it away. The problem was it never really went away. I felt like it was time to clean out my closet and get down to the gritty backbone of my past.

“All of my favorite artists would tell real stories, I wanted to talk about similar things that were close to my heart. Every song became something I experienced. I’ve had my slew of disappointing relationships, times when I was pissed off, heartbroken and times when I felt false senses of euphoria. There are times when you struggle with yourself or with somebody else. I wanted to pour all of those emotions into my music, stay true to my roots, and tap into what inspired me in the first place.”



1. Ghost

2. Cannonball (feat. Fantastic Negrito)

3. Help Me Mama

4. The Storm

5. Domino (feat. Fitz)

6. Let It Burn

7. Bag of Bones

8. She Ain’t Me

9. If U Stayed

10. Hold On

11. Ride (feat. Gary Clark Jr.) [from “Cars 3”]

3 stars

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