Absolutely beautiful, folksy singer-songwriter stuff. If you don’t know about Iron and Wine, the singer’s name is Sam Bean. The on this, his second album, production is a step up from the muddy four track of his first album, but retains the emotive and heart-wrenching qualities of his singing. The arrangements are simple and poignant, mostly acoustic guitar. His songwriting draws from a rich tradition of southern songwriters, infusing his lyrics with a mournful tinge. The vocals are breathy, hushed, a cut you right to the bone. Will appeals to all fans of soft folk music, especially those who like Sufjan Stevens or Bonny Prince Billy. |
All tracks come highly recommended, but my absolute favorites are: 11, 2, 8, 6, 9, 10, 12, 4, 7, 3, 5, and 1. It’s hard to pick from an album this good.
If you have any appreciation for beauty in this world, you’ll play this album.
1. Chilly, arcing slide guitar. More rhythmic than other tracks.
*2. Soft, like lovers whispering in bed. Stunning.
3. Darker guitar picking, crooning moans.
4. Pretty, like early Joni Mitchell.
5. Soft banjo, multitracked vocals. A bit uptempo.
*6. Another unbelievably gorgeous acoustic picking number.
7. Ukulele and vocals, like a hymn sung by morose Hawaiian angels.
*8. God, please play this. I’m at a loss for words. Mid-tempo.
*9. Dark bluesy sound. Great banjo solo.
*10. Slower, soft like a peach, or the skin of an newborn child.
**11. Perfect. I would say something, but the tears in my eyes obscure the screen.
*12. A simple, wistful ballad with stately piano.