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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 25 janvier 2011 | 4AD

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection Les Inrocks
Cerveau d’Iron & Wine, Sam Beam est l’un des songwriters les plus doués de sa génération. Fils spirituel de Nick Drake et Simon & Garfunkel, l’Américain ouvre ici son folk virginal à une riche instrumentation. Kiss Each Other Clean, solidement ancré dans le rock solaire des 70’s, est surtout l’album qui fait grandir Iron & Wine.
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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 16 avril 2013 | 4AD

Distinctions 3F de Télérama - 5/6 de Magic
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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 7 mai 2021 | SUB POP

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Recorded while Iron & Wine's Sam Beam was a student at Florida State University in the late '90s, this set of songs is a prelude to his stunning Sub Pop debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle. Featuring Beam on acoustic guitar, vocals, and drums with roommate (and future I&W bandmate) EJ Holowicki on bass, there's a homemade feel to the set that's not quite as magical as Creek, but still very nicely intimate and lo-fi. Definitely less loner singing his heart out in a lonely room and more two dudes laying down some good country-adjacent tunes over a few beers. There are some clunky guitar solos, out-of-time guitars, and bass rumbles to contend with, as well as a couple of songs that sound like the work of someone still finding their voice. Mostly, though, the things that make Iron & Wine so lovely are here in nascent form. Beam's voice already has the power to rivet the listener to the speaker in awe of the warmth and feeling he transmits with seemingly no effort. His croon feels like the confession of a close friend, and on songs like "Cold Town" and "Why Hate Winter" (which sounds like backwoods Codeine) it's impossible to escape the raw emotion. There are also a few ghostly vocal harmonies -- like on the halting ballad "Show Him the Ground" -- that point the way to Creek's incredible sound. His lyrics here aren't always as insightful as they came to be -- the occasional lyrical turn feels less than polished -- but there's still plenty of sincere thoughtfulness on display. As far as lost, pre-fame recordings go, Archive Series No.5: Tallahassee Recordings is a genuine find. It skips over the one-off shot of brilliance that is Creek and provides a template for what Iron & Wine would sound like with more filled-out backing and a jauntier, less insular feel. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 24 février 2015 | Black Cricket Recording Co.

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 23 mars 2004 | SUB POP

Quinze ans après sa sortie en mars 2004, Our Endless Numbered Days remonte à la surface en édition Deluxe, histoire de rappeler sa beauté virginale stupéfiante à ceux qui l’auraient oubliée. En 2002 déjà, l’album The Creek Drank The Cradle dévoilait la subtilité d’Iron & Wine et de son cerveau, Sam Beam, petit génie poilu de l'americana en coton hydrophile originaire de Caroline du Sud. Sur ce deuxième album mieux maîtrisé (et agrémenté ici de huit démos inédites pour fans hardcore), Beam montre comment la douceur de ses rythmes, sa maîtrise des harmonies vocales et son sens de la mélodie pure et brute le plaçaient au-dessus de ses congénères. Comme une sorte d’héritier américain et roots de Nick Drake. Sa délicatesse folk sur Naked As We Came et surtout Sunset Soon Forgotten, le sommet de l’album, n’ont pas pris une ride et visent plus au cœur que les chansons qu’Iron & Wine enregistrera par la suite. Car cette œuvre de jeunesse était déjà une œuvre de la maturité. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 17 juillet 2015 | Black Cricket - Brown Records

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Il fut un temps où les albums de reprises n’étaient pas une denrée si rare que cela… C’est ce que font ici Sam Beam (alias Iron & Wine) et Ben Bridwell, le chanteur de Band Of Horses. Douze relectures on ne peut plus éclectique puisque ce Sing Into My Mouth offre des pièces signées Talking Heads (This Must Be The Place), Ronnie Lane (Done This One Before), Bonnie Raitt (Any Day Woman), John Cale (You Know Me More Than I Know), Sade (Bulletproof Soul), Unicorn (There's No Way Out of Here), El Perro del Mar (God Knows (You Gotta Give to Get)), Spiritualized (The Straight and Narrow), JJ Cale (Magnolia), Them Two (Am I a Good Man? ), Marshall Tucker Band (Ab's Song) et Pete Seeger (Coyote, My Little Brother). Ancrés dans une certaine Americana et un rock roots raffiné, les deux compères réussissent à homogénéiser des titres composés à des époques variées, par des artistes on ne peut plus différents dans des styles là aussi très divers. Un bel album lové dans un esprit folk rock (on pense parfois aux Jayhawks) et qui donnera sans doute envie aux plus jeunes de découvrir les versions originales. © CM/Qobuz
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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 28 octobre 2016 | Black Cricket Recording Co. - Keep Your Records

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 17 juillet 2015 | Black Cricket - Brown Records

Il fut un temps où les albums de reprises n’étaient pas une denrée si rare que cela… C’est ce que font ici Sam Beam (alias Iron & Wine) et Ben Bridwell, le chanteur de Band Of Horses. Douze relectures on ne peut plus éclectique puisque ce Sing Into My Mouth offre des pièces signées Talking Heads (This Must Be The Place), Ronnie Lane (Done This One Before), Bonnie Raitt (Any Day Woman), John Cale (You Know Me More Than I Know), Sade (Bulletproof Soul), Unicorn (There's No Way Out of Here), El Perro del Mar (God Knows (You Gotta Give to Get)), Spiritualized (The Straight and Narrow), JJ Cale (Magnolia), Them Two (Am I a Good Man? ), Marshall Tucker Band (Ab's Song) et Pete Seeger (Coyote, My Little Brother). Ancrés dans une certaine Americana et un rock roots raffiné, les deux compères réussissent à homogénéiser des titres composés à des époques variées, par des artistes on ne peut plus différents dans des styles là aussi très divers. Un bel album lové dans un esprit folk rock (on pense parfois aux Jayhawks) et qui donnera sans doute envie aux plus jeunes de découvrir les versions originales. © CM/Qobuz
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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 2 juin 2017 | Black Cricket Recording Co.

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 5 décembre 2011 | 4AD

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 31 août 2018 | SUB POP

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Si cet EP s’inscrit dans la continuité de l’album Beast Epic paru en 2017, c’est que ses six titres proviennent de la même session d’enregistrement. Sam Beam avait donc déjà prévu de revenir un an plus tard avec une belle surprise en main. Voilà un disque aux inspirations telluriques qui sillonne les mauvaises herbes pour découvrir un chemin rayonnant. Avec ce disque romantique, le cerveau d’Iron & Wine reste fidèle aux ballades folkloriques et aux refrains flottants. C’est un plongeon dans les souvenirs plus ou moins brumeux qui fait vaguer l’ensemble. Iron & Wine n’a jamais aussi bien porté son nom.Abordant certains sujets douloureux dans un sublime état de demi-ivresse, Waves of Gavelston revient sur le tragique évènement de 1900 où la ville texane fut ravagée par un ouragan. Sur une simple mélodie folk, Sam Beam imagine un siècle plus tard la catastrophe et le calme après la tempête. Une description émouvante du décor, rendue merveilleuse par un chant léger (« There's a graveyard by the pizza parlor » / « Papa left you for heaven after your Mama lost her song »). Le songwriter américain a ce don pour décupler les émotions sans fioritures. De la ballade folk-psyché au groove modéré (What Hurts Worse), on saute sur un folk très cool (Last of Your Rock'n'roll Heroes) pour atteindre le sérieux des violoncelles et de quelques notes pianotés (Milkweed). Avec Weed Garden, Iron & Wine séduira ses fans grâce à sa poésie riche et délicate, où règne l’optimisme. © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 7 mars 2011 | 4AD

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 25 août 2017 | SUB POP

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 25 septembre 2007 | SUB POP

Iron & Wine have shown an impressive work ethic since the release of The Creek Drank the Cradle in 2002. A flood of singles, EPs, and albums, each with high levels of quality, have made Iron & Wine and Sam Beam stars in the indie rock world. Introspective, leaning toward morose, and heavily bearded stars, but glittering just the same. 2007's The Shepherd's Dog goes a long way toward validating all the attention I&W have been getting; it's their best, most diverse, and most listenable record yet, as Beam and co. take another leap away from the lo-fi, one-dude-in-a-bedroom beginnings of the group. Here Beam surrounds himself with a large cast of musicians, and they blanket the songs with a wide array of instrumentation, everything from accordions to Hammond organ, piano to backward guitars, vibraphone to bass harmonica. Nothing too strange in the everything-goes world of indie rock circa 2007, but for Iron & Wine, it's a widescreen revelation. Perhaps working with Calexico on 2005's In the Reins inspired Beam to use all the colors in the paint box. Maybe it's a natural progression. Either way it leads to an inspiringly lush album, full of imaginative and rich arrangements. Not to say Beam has cast aside the vital elements that made the band so interesting to begin with; his whispered vocals still conjure shadowy mystery, the songs are still melancholy as hell at their core, and as always there's a lingering sense of Southern gothic foreboding shrouding the proceedings. The increased production values take these elements and goose them. The recognizably I&W songs like the dark and creepy "Peace Beneath the City" or the gloomy country ballad "Resurrection Fern" sound bigger and have a different kind of impact. Take "Boy with a Coin," which in the past would have been spare, spooky, and a bit insular, but now is huge and spooky thanks to the propulsive handclaps and atmospheric backward guitars that would make Daniel Lanois jealous. Along with these pumped-up variations on the band's classic sound, there are songs you'd never imagine hearing on an Iron & Wine album. The danceable (!) "House by the Sea" has jumpy Afro-pop underpinnings and a bit of wild abandon in Beam's more passionate-than-usual vocals; "Wolves (Song of the Shepherd's Dog)" is a funky mix of David Essex's "Rock On," a backwoods-sounding Meters, and of all things, dub reggae; and most shockingly, "The Devil Never Sleeps" actually rocks with a rollicking barroom piano, a loping tempo, bongos, and lyrics about nothing on the radio, leading to a sound that's ironically perfect for the radio. By the end of the record, you may feel a few pangs for the discarded, sparse sound of early Iron & Wine, but the beauty and majesty of The Shepherd's Dog will pave right over them, and you should be able to enjoy the masterful songcraft, inspired performance, and note-perfect production with no guilt and a fair bit of awe. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 26 novembre 2010 | 4AD

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 23 mars 2004 | SUB POP

On Our Endless Numbered Days, the follow-up to 2002's stunningly good Creek Drank the Cradle, the sound of Iron & Wine has changed but the song remains the same. No longer does Sam Beam record his intimate songs in the intimate surroundings of his home. Instead he has made the jump to the recording studio. As a result the record is much cleaner, less cocoon-like, certainly more the product of someone who has become a professional musician and not someone who just records for fun on a four-track. However, all Beam has sacrificed is sound quality. The sound of the record is still very intimate and simple, with very subtle arrangements that leave his voice and lyrics as the focal point. Luckily all the technology in the world can't affect Beam's voice, which still sounds like it comes right from his lips into your ear as if he were an angel perched on your shoulder. His songs are still as strong and memorable as they were on Creek, no drop off whatsoever in quality. "Naked as We Came" with sparkling melody lovely background harmonies by his sister Sarah; the aching folk ballad "Radio War," which wouldn't sound out of place on Prairie Home Companion, only it would be the best thing you ever heard there; the sad and sweet "Each Coming Night"; the crystalline acoustic guitar ballad "Fever Dream," which has the kind of vocal harmony between Beam and his sister that seems to be the exclusive domain of siblings; and the soft rock CSNY "Sodom, South Georgia" are the equal of anything on Iron & Wine's debut and match up well with anything Palace, Smog, or their ilk have done lately. A definite plus to recording in a studio and enlisting the help of outside musicians is that there is much more variety to the album and there are lots of small production touches that liven things up like the Native American chants at the close of "Cinder and Smoke," the pedal steel guitar on "Sunset Soon Forgotten," and the drums and tambourine on the bluesy "Free Until They Cut Me Down." Our Endless Numbered Days is very subdued, thoughtful, melodic, and downright beautiful album and the new sound is more of a progression than a sudden shift in values, production or otherwise. Anyone who found the first album to be wonderful will no doubt feel the same about this one. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 24 septembre 2002 | SUB POP

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 19 mai 2009 | SUB POP

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 7 avril 2021 | Sub Pop Records

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Alternatif et Indé - Paru le 22 février 2005 | SUB POP

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