Marcus Alan Ward "Marcus In Wonderland
Marcus Alan Ward "Marcus In Wonderland

OKP Premiere: Marcus Alan Ward Covers Santana + Sade On The New 'Marcus In Wonderland' EP

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Breathing modern grooves into classic rock melodies is something of a speciality for Ohio-raised singer and producer Marcus Alan Ward, and nowhere is it more evident than on his brand new EP, Marcus in Wonderland. A short but sweet offering, the three track work is comprised of cover songs from Jefferson Airplane, Santana and Sade, giving us a peek at what Ward's own stereo must sound like when he comes home, kicks back and sets his library to shuffle.

Marcus in Wonderland kicks off with a version of "Black Magic Woman" that pushes out toward club house and trip-hop territories, with maximalist keys and searing electric guitars inhabiting a steady-beat surroundings. It's contemporary heaviness might shock devotees of the original recording, but you've got to give Marcus some credit. It's mighty damn creative.

Things open up a bit on "White Rabbit," with much of the "Age of Aquarius" incense smoke of the original seeping into Ward's own rendition. A slow Fender Rhodes march leads us to deep half-time trap depths, but Ward keeps the entire track floating at all times, letting its depth coast over you like an ocean curled high above the moon. "Kiss of Death" is outlier here, it seems, as Ward trades his own brightness in for Sade's warmth. Arpeggiated acoustic guitar arises where we're used to hearing smooth keys, but it's all in the name of providing room for the man's voice, which positively shimmers. Tackling Sade (or any of these artists) is no small task, and on Marcus in Wonderland, the young man proves his mettle. Okayplayer is very proud indeed to present the world premiere of Marcus in Wonderland. Listen to it below.