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IRON & WINE

Calexico And Iron & Wine

In The Reins

    Iron & Wine's Sam Beam and the members of Calexico convened in December 2004 at Calexico's home base of Wavelab Studios in Tucson, Arizona. The idea of working together had been tossed around for over three years, though neither bands' schedule loaned itself into making it a reality until then. The resulting session "In the Reins", is a mini-album that is a truly harmonious affair sure to satisfy fans of both bands. The seven tracks are Sam Beam originals and were fleshed out by the full Calexico band. The record also features newcomer Natalie Wyants on vocals, Salvador Duran, a local fixture of the Tucson Flamenco scene, on vocals and Botas. Of course no Wavelab experience would be complete without the appearance of Nick Luca (NL Trio/John Doe Band) and Craig Schumacher, both of whom contributed to the record in the form of engineering and performance.

    TRACK LISTING

    He Lays In The Reins
    Prison On Route 41
    History Of Lovers
    Red Dust
    16, Maybe Less
    Burn That Broken Bed
    Dead Mans Will

    Iron & Wine

    Light Verse

      When the pandemic began, and the world shut down, so did the process of creating for Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam. In its place was a domesticity that the singer hadn’t felt in a long time, and although it was filled with many rewards, making music was not one of them. Reflecting on that time;

      Beam notes:
      “I feel blessed and grateful that I and most of my friends and family made it through the pandemic relatively unscathed compared to so many others, but it completely paralyzed the songwriter in me. The last thing I wanted to write about was COVID, and yet every moment I sat with my pen, it lingered around the edges and wouldn’t leave. This lasted for over two years.” The journey back began with a recording session in Memphis to record a handful of Lori McKenna tracks for the EP Lori with friend and producer Matt Ross-Spang. The cathartic experience reconnected Beam with his love for making music, and soon enough the paralysis had passed, and he was finishing lyrics and booking studio time for what would become Light Verse. Light Verse was recorded with engineer and mixer Dave Way at his studio Waystation high up in Laurel Canyon (with an additional session at Silent Zoo Studio with a 24-piece orchestra), with a host of talented musicians joining Beam: Tyler Chester, Sebastian Steinberg, David Garza, Griffin Goldsmith, Beth Goodfellow, Kyle Crane, and Paul Cartwright. And, Fiona Apple joined Beam on vocals for the duet “All In Good Time.” Beam lyrically once again takes focus on a series of both fictional and personal insights, filled with desperate characters and wide-eyed optimists, offering promise and a dose of heartache, tears and laughter, life and love. Taking stock in the album’s title, he jokes, “Light verse is a form of poetry about playful themes that often uses nonsense and wordplay, and it’s my first official Iron & Wine comedy album!…. Just kidding….”

      While true this may be Iron & Wine’s most playful record, Beam says the title mostly reflects the way the songs were born with joy after the heaviness and anxiety of the pandemic. Where recent records like Beast Epic or Weed Garden gave air to the disquiet of middle-aged frailty and brokenness, these songs trade that for the focus acceptance can bring. Moment by moment, they delight in being pointed or silly (or both) and attempt beauty over prettiness.


      TRACK LISTING

      1. You Never Know
      2. Anyone's Game
      3. All In Good Time
      4. Cutting It Close
      5. Taken By Surprise
      6. Yellow Jacket
      7. Sweet Talk
      8. Tears That Don't Matter
      9. Bag Of Cats
      10. Angels Go Home

      Iron & Wine

      Who Can See Forever Soundtrack

        Iron & Wine’s Who Can See Forever is an accompanying live record to the film of the same name. Captured at Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, the soundtrack features nineteen songs from the twenty plus year career of singer-songwriter Sam Beam. Having found inventive ways to re-invent his catalog live over the years, Who Can See Forever offers new and fresh versions of Iron & Wine songs including “The Trapeze Swinger”, “Boy With a Coin” and “Naked As We Came.” The film - initially intended as a live concert film - evolved into a visual portrait capturing Beam during a creative outburst that earned him four Grammy nominations in four years. Like his music, the film touches on universally personal themes as Beam juggles being an artist, husband and father. Taken as one, the soundtrack and film are a fascinating first-time glimpse behind-the-scenes of Iron & Wine.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. The Trapeze Swinger
        2. Boy With A Coin
        3. Woman King
        4. Thomas County Law
        5. House By The Sea
        6. About A Bruise
        7. Sodom, South Georgia
        8. Last Night
        9. Monkeys Uptown
        10. Wolves (Song Of The Shepherd's Dog)
        11. Grace For Saints And Ramblers
        12. Dearest Forsaken
        13. Glad Man Singing
        14. On Your Wings
        15. Passing Afternoon
        16. Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car
        17. Naked As We Came
        18. Call Your Boys
        20. Muddy Hymnal

        Iron & Wine

        Archive Series Volume No. 5: Tallahassee Recordings

          Archive Series Volume No. 5: Tallahassee is the lost-in-time debut album from Iron & Wine. A collection of songs recorded three years prior to his official Sub Pop debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002). A period before the concept of Iron & Wine existed and principal songwriter Sam Beam was studying at Florida State University with the intent of pursuing a career in film. Tallahassee documents the very first steps on a journey that would lead to a career as one of America’s most original and distinctive singer-songwriters.

          Creek arrived like a thief in the night with its lo-fi, hushed vocals and intimate nature, while almost inversely Tallahassee comes with a strange sense of confidence. Perhaps an almost youthful discretion that likely comes from being too young to know better and too naïve to give a shit. The recordings themselves are more polished than Creek and give a peak into what a studio version of that record might have offered up.

          Tallahassee was recorded over the course of 1998-1999 when Beam and future bandmate EJ Holowicki moved into a house together. Beam had not been performing publicly, however he was known for playing an original song or two in the early morning glow of a long night. Holowicki also in the film program and who would go onto a career as a sound designer at Skywalker Sound, had a mobile recording device and after some prodding convinced his friend to record these late-night meditations.

          Together they would record close to twenty-four songs, ideas and sketches, with EJ on bass and Sam on vocals, guitar, harmonica and drums. The recordings – all captured in the house where they lived – have a “live in the room” feel akin to say Neil Young’s Harvest or Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left, rather than the homespun lo-fi 4-track home recording experiment taking place at the time.

          These recordings, minus one track, have never been made available and were instead left preserved on a hard drive for the last twenty years. The one track that floated out there, called “In Your Own Time” was shared without a title to childhood friend Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses) at some point. The song became known as the “Fuck Like A Dog” song and Ben shared it with more than a few folks during the golden era of mix cd’s. Two of those folks were Jonathan Poneman from Sub Pop and journalist Mike McGonigal, who included it on his best songs of 2001 mix cd, passed out to friends and acquaintances. And for many that is where the Iron & Wine story begins, until now…

          Tallahassee is the foreword to your favorite book that you’ve somehow skipped over time and time again. It’s an alternative history mixed with some revisionist history told over the course of eleven songs. It’s also the debut record by Iron & Wine some twenty years after the fact. 

          TRACK LISTING

          Why Hate The Winter
          This Solemn Day
          Loaning Me Secrets
          John's Glass Eye
          Calm On The Valley
          Ex-Lover Lucy Jones
          Elizabeth
          Show Him The Ground
          Straight And Tall
          Cold Town
          Valentine

          Iron & Wine

          Our Endless Numbered Days - Deluxe Reissue

            Sam Beam, aka Iron & Wine, released "Our Endless Numbered Days", his second in March of 2004. It followed his hushed, literate, intimate, melodic, 2002 debut album, "The Creek Drank the Cradle", a quiet treasure which, with its unaffected candor and depth, found fans all over. "Our Endless Numbered Days" was recorded both at Sam’s Miami home and in Chicago’s Engine Studios with Brian Deck (Red Red Meat, Modest Mouse, Ugly Casanova, etc.) On it, Sam is aided and abetted by his then touring and recording conspirators: his sister Sarah Beam, Patrick McKinney, Jeff McGriff, EJ Holowicki, and Jonathon Bradley. Listening to "Our Endless Numbered Days" makes plain Sam’s deft touch with words and melody; one that allows him to turn out stories about love, loss, faith, or the lack of it that are at once personal and universal, set to music that is sweetly haunting and timeless.

            This reissue features the original album, plus eight previously unreleased demo versions and a 12-page booklet with an essay about the album by Amanda Petrusich.

            TRACK LISTING

            On Your Wings
            Naked As We Came
            Cinder And Smoke
            Sunset Soon Forgotten
            Teeth In The Grass
            Love And Some Verses
            Radio War
            Each Coming Night
            Free Until They Cut Me Down
            Fever Dream
            Sodom, South Georgia
            Passing Afternoon
            Naked As We Came (demo)
            Cinder And Smoke (demo)
            Teeth In The Grass (demo)
            Love And Some Verses (demo)
            Free Until They Cut Me Down (demo)
            Fever Dream (demo)
            Sodom, South Georgia (demo)
            Passing Afternoon (demo)

            Iron & Wine follow up their 2018 Grammy-nominated full-length Beast Epic with Weed Garden, a collection of material that began about three years ago. The six-song EP features songs that were part of the writing phase for Beast Epic, but went unfinished. They were part of a larger narrative for principal songwriter Sam Beam, who ran out of time to get them where they needed to be for inclusion on Beast Epic. Weed Garden also includes the fan favorite “Waves of Galveston.”

            While on tour last fall, the final pieces of material took shape and a sense of urgency prevailed in bringing these characters full circle. To resolution. To completion. In January, Beam and company hunkered down in Chicago at The Loft recording studio to capture these six songs.  No more, no less.
            Weed Garden joins the good company of previous Iron & Wine EP’s – The Sea and Rhythm, Woman King, In the Reins – and in 2018’s attention-span challenged world that's not a bad thing.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: If you've heard Iron & Wine before, you'll be well aware of Mr. Beam's capability for weaving a rich acousticana tapestry, and 'Weed Garden' is exactly that, beautifully played organic instrumentation with a strong melodic sensibility, relaxing and transportative. (Iron &) Wine-not give it a go.

            Iron & Wine

            Beast Epic

              "I must confess that I’ve always shied away from album introductions citing the usual "dancing to architecture" cop out. Speaking to their own work is uncomfortable for many artists, but I’ve made a new album called Beast Epic which is important to me and I wanted to take a moment to talk about why. I’ve been releasing music for about fifteen years now and I feel very blessed to have put out five other full lengths, many EPs and singles, a few collaborations with people much more talented than myself, and made contributions to numerous movie scores and soundtracks. This is my sixth collection of new Iron & Wine material and I’m happy to say that it’s my fourth for Sub Pop Records.

              It’s a warm and serendipitous time to be reuniting with my Seattle friends because I feel there’s a certain kinship between this new collection of songs and my earliest material, which Sub Pop was kind enough to release. In hindsight, both The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002) and Our Endless Numbered Days (2004) epitomize a reflective and confessional songwriting style (although done with my own ferocious commitment to understatement, of course.) I have been and always will be fascinated by the way time asserts itself on our bodies and our hearts. The ferris wheel keeps spinning and we’re constantly approaching, leaving or returning to something totally unexpected or startlingly familiar. The rite of passage is an image I've returned to often because I feel we’re all constantly in some stage of transition. Beast Epic is saturated with this idea but in a different way simply because each time I return to the theme I’ve collected new experiences to draw from. Where the older songs painted a picture of youth moving wide-eyed into adulthood’s violent pleasures and disappointments, this collection speaks to the beauty and pain of growing up after you’ve already grown up. For me, that experience has been more generous in its gifts and darker in its tragedies.

              The sound of Beast Epic harks back to previous work, in a way, as well. By employing the old discipline of recording everything live and doing minimal overdubbing, I feel like it wears both its achievements and its imperfections on its sleeve. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different genres, sonics and songwriting styles and all that traveled distance is evident in the feel and the arrangements here, but the muscles seemed to have relaxed and been allowed to effortlessly do what they do best.

              I’ve been fortunate to get to play with some very talented musicians over the years who are both uniquely intuitive and also expressive in exciting ways. This group was no different. We spent about two weeks recording and mixing but mostly laughing at The Loft in Chicago.

              To be honest, I’ve named this record BEAST EPIC mostly because it sounds really fucking cool! However, with that said and perhaps to be completely honest, “a story where animals talk and act like people” sounds like the perfect description for the life of any of us. If not that, then it’s at least perfect for any group of songs I’ve ever tried to make. I hope you enjoy it." - Iron & Wine

              Iron & Wine

              Ghost On Ghost

                Following 2011’s ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’, which debuted at number two on the US Billboard chart, ‘Ghost On Ghost’ is to be the fifth studio album from Austin-based Sam Beam.

                While Rolling Stone said of ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’ that “pop music hadn’t seen anything like it since the heyday of Cat Stevens,” and Pitchfork said it “more closely resembles the lush, gold-toned singer songwriter records of the late 60s and early 70s - ‘Astral Weeks’, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’”, Beam felt it time to move from what he called the “anxious tension” from this record and his previous one (‘The Shepherd’s Dog’). “This record felt like a reward to myself after the way I went about making the last few,” he says.

                Recorded in New York and produced by Beam’s longtime associate Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Califone, Fruit Bats), helping achieve Beam’s vision were a group of stellar musicians including Rob Burger of Tin Hat Trio, Steve Bernstein, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen, and Briggan Krauss of Sex Mob, jazz drummer Brian Blade, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes of The Jazz Passengers, bassist Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan’s band), cellist Marika Hughes, Maxim Moston and Doug Wieselman of Antony And The Johnsons, and Anja Wood. Burger (Tin Hat Trio) has worked with Beam intermittently through the years and handled arrangements for strings and horns on ‘Ghost On Ghost’.

                For the album’s cover, Beam, who is also a visual artist, chose an image from the series ‘Private Views’ by noted photographer Barbara Crane.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Andy says: Another mellow delight from Sam Beam. Lovely.

                TRACK LISTING

                Caught In The Briars
                The Desert Babbler
                Joy
                Low Light Buddy Of Mine
                Graces For Saints And Ramblers
                Grass Windows
                Singers And The Endless Song
                Sundown (Back In The Briars)
                Winter Prayers
                New Mexico’s No Breeze
                Lovers’ Revolution
                Baby Center Stage

                Iron And Wine

                Kiss Each Other Clean

                  New to 4AD, Iron And Wine deliver the perfect way to start any year.

                  It’s been over three years since Iron & Wine released "The Shepherd’s Dog", a collection of songs that Sam (Beam) himself described as an attempt to replicate something in the vein of Tom Waits’ "Swordfishtrombones".

                  While Waits fans might gasp at such a notion, making the kind of records that had brought much of their early successes would have been all too easy and living up to folks expectations never sounded all that interesting to Sam.

                  After all, the most fascinating journeys are the ones where you have no idea where you’re headed, and that’s what the experience of making the record turned out to be. In the end, they were rewarded with a warm reception from both fans and critics alike.

                  "Kiss Each Other Clean" is the next logical step and should have been done sooner had life not got in the way. As is well documented, Sam resides outside of Austin, Texas close to the middle of nowhere where he and his wife tend to a rather large homestead.

                  As one journalist who visited him once said, “he lives exactly as you hoped he would”. Good for us, sometimes difficult for him.

                  When possible, recording sessions were taking place over the course of 2010 in Chicago with Brian Deck at the helm again as well as a number of familiar names who pop up to contribute musically.

                  Not one to rest on laurels, "Kiss Each Other Clean" takes off where "The Shepherd’s Dog" left us with layer upon layer, rhythm upon rhythm and of course some acoustic guitar and whispering vocals for good measure. In a recent interview Sam said that the resulting ten tracks make for a “more focused pop record”, albeit with “straight-up jazz, blues and African elements” experimentally thrown in.

                  If we are to believe Sam on his earlier Waits-ian comparison then it’s safe to say that "Kiss Each Other Clean" could be the second phase in his own trilogy a la "Rain Dogs". One thing is certain, he’s yet to show any sign of letting up.

                  Iron And Wine

                  Around The Well

                    Collecting songs ranging from out-of-print to never-before-released, "Around The Well" spans Iron and Wine's earliest sessions which yielded the band's debut (2002's "The Creek Drank the Cradle") through to material recorded for 2007's "The Shepherd's Dog". The "Around The Well" collection is broken up into two sections. The first half is an assortment of hushed home recordings, unedited and raw, and the second highlights moments captured in the confines of proper studios with the help of other musicians, friends and engineers. The album's title comes from a line in the song "The Trapeze Swinger", a fan favourite which was written for and included in the movie 'In Good Company'. Three more songs written and recorded for the film finally make their appearance here as well: "Belated Promise Ring", "God Made The Automobile" and "Homeward, These Shoes". "Around The Well" also brings together hard-to-find covers such as The Flaming Lips' "Waitin' for a Superman" and New Order's "Love Vigilantes", along with one of Iron and Wine's earliest originals, "Sacred Vision".

                    Iron And Wine

                    Boy With A Coin

                      "Boy With A Coin", the first single to be taken from forthcoming album "The Shepherd's Dog", is darkly playful, tumbling under its cascading melody and backwards guitar textures. A worthy example of the highest standard of songwriting displayed on the rest of the album and marks a departure in style from Beam's previous work, without betraying his blissful Americana roots.

                      Iron & Wine

                      Our Endless Numbered Days

                        "Our Endless Numbered Days" is the second full-length album from Iron and Wine and it was recorded both at Sam's Miami home and in Chicago's Engine Studios with Brian Deck. On it, Sam is aided and abetted by regular touring and recording conspirators: his sister Sara Beam, Patrick McKinney, Jeff McGriff, EJ Holowicki, and Jonathan Bradley. No grand gestures here, instead the record is filled with tiny moments, little windows into our shared mortality in a way that serves to sharpen the hunger for love and connection over time rather than dull or defeat it. Listening to "Our Endless Numbered Days" makes plain Sam's deft touch with words and melody; one that allows him to turn out stories about love, loss, faith, or the lack of it that are at once personal and universal, set to music that is sweetly haunting and timeless.

                        Iron & Wine

                        The Creek Drank The Cradle

                          Iron And Wine the recorded word of one Samuel Beam, Miami, Florida; is one of those one-guy-and-his-tapedeck affairs. "The Creek Drank the Cradle" is filled with hushed, restrained vocals, affecting lyrics from a naturalist's perspective, exploring relationships and the hope born from them, all of which come across as though whispered to you personally, accompanied by guitar, banjo, slide guitar. Taken as a whole, "The Creek Drank The Cradle", Iron and Wine's debut CD, is an ode to an older South; a part of America that is defined by 'traditional values', pastoral imagery and arcane manners. Or maybe that's just what we want to hear.


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