In June, M. Ward ambushed us with a new album, What a Wonderful Industry, a 35-minute tribute to the heroes and villains he’s encountered in his 20 years in the music industry. The indie-folk crooner has since stayed mum on specific details—he’s not naming any names—but there’s no context necessary for enjoying the colorful trip that is What a Wonderful Industry, a character-driven illustration of an industry as wonderful as it is tainted by the occasional bad egg.
One such character is an unnamed “Shark,” and we’ve got the track’s video, premiering here at Paste, which you can watch further down. The song, which features backing vocals from Nik Freitas, is a clever clapback aimed at some slick industry fox—err, shark—who’s presumably one of the record’s more villainous personalities. Ward calls him out: “Tommy is a tiger shark / Lives in the Bengal Sea / And by day, he’s a music manager / And once he even managed me.” Eerily shot in black and white, the video is a series of noirish scenes, both on land and sea. At one point, we see the “manager” for who he truly is: a shark washed up on the beach. The four-minute clip closes out with a sunglasses-clad M. Ward leaning into a mic, sharks circling the space around his head. If you’re bummed about having to wait a whole year for the next Shark Week, this video, directed by Carlos Forster, might just hold you over.
What a Wonderful Industry is the follow-up to M. Ward’s 2016 LP More Rain, his eighth solo effort. His duo with Zooey Deschanel, She & Him, released a holiday album, Christmas Party, that same year. Ward also makes an appearance in this year’s Elvis Presley documentary The King.
Again, you can watch the video for “Shark” below. Revisit What a Wonderful Industry here and keep scrolling for M. Ward’s 2012 Daytrotter Session.