9:00 p.m. Sunday, August 1, at I/O, 30 NE 14th St. Tickets cost $8. Call 305-358-8007.
M. Ward's spooky blend of parched, hollow-eyed American Gothic, insurgent noise, and ambient atmospherics has garnered him increasing attention of late, thanks in large part to the seductive lure and haunting melancholia offered up in his third and most recent album, last year's exceptional Transfiguration of Vincent. Although the sound is as minimal and lo-fi as his abbreviated name implies, this Portland singer/songwriter creates a mesmerizing presence through his hushed melodies and riveting narratives steeped in loneliness and desire. While a seemingly unlikely guarantee of instant appeal, Ward is a hypnotic performer known to hold audiences in his sway.