Credit: General Crush
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Credit: General Crush
General Crush is the moniker for Boston-based songwriter and producer Ray Ward. Named after Ray Charles, Ward comes from a musical family and began his career as a bass player. Inspired by the likes of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Eric Wilson of Sublime, he grew into a versatile bassist and played in a number of east-coast jam bands before starting to write his own songs at the age of 20. His early songs were heavily stripped-down and rooted in folk influences from Nick Drake and Jose Gonzalez. Originally from Philadelphia, he became a staple of the local singer/songwriter scene, frequently performing alongside his violin-playing father.
Searching for an elusive signature sound, Ward became increasingly focused on production and launched several electronic-influenced side projects. This work was heavily influenced by the likes of Chet Faker, Odesza, and Bonobo. This coincided with an extended hiatus from performing live, yet a new interest in the craft of production, mixing, and sound design. During this time, he composed music for short films and documentaries. He also spent time crafting skills in visual art, filmmaking, and design.
In 2016, Ward began releasing music under the moniker General Crush. The name relates to the emotional extremes laden in the term "crush"; music to him represented both infatuation and defeat -- the name served as a tool for navigating those extremes. This new sound combined bedroom-style songwriting with catchy beats, ethereal electronic tones, and driving guitars. Blending diverse influences from alternative rock and downbeat electronica, his songs tell intimate stories with a wide sonic range. He began the project by releasing several singles and multiple EPs, including "Glistening", "Textures", and "Wide Escape".
He notably followed these releases with the genre-bending single "Beautiful Day" that was well-received by several critics and blog outlets. General Crush starting earning wider recognition in 2017 with the release of the single "Find New Friends", which earned over a million global streams. Since then, his music has been featured in several prominent playlists including Spotify's New Music Friday, as well as media outlets such as Tenement TV and Vanyaland.