Ward was born in dry Southern California, but it’s the waterlogged Pacific Northwest that moves the writing on his new album, More Rain (out February 26). Using downpours as a muse, the Portland-based singer-songwriter—the Him to Zooey Deschanel’s She in the band She & Him—collaborated with artists like Peter Buck and Neko Case to produce songs that feel earthy and analog. The result is an exhilarating master class in sharp musicianship. Upbeat moments of wit commingle with the doo-wop harmonies sprinkled throughout. Catch Ward in concert with Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins on January 29 and 30 at Immanuel Presbyterian Church.