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Alternative & Indie - Released September 26, 2013 | Sub Pop Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 25, 2017 | Sub Pop Records

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15 years after the release of The Creek Drank The Cradle, Iron & Wine’s superb pristine first album, Sam Beam has become a recognised songwriter who has taken his Americana in multiple directions. The musician has managed to evolve from naked folk music to a richer instrumentation. However, he’s often at his most convincing in a more refined style with a stripped-down production. This is the case with this Beast Epic that appears to be a return to the roots of his first albums (Our Endless Numbered Days). This feeling is amplified by the fact that Beam reunites with the label that launched his career: Sub Pop Records. Melancholic but not depressing, romantic without being overly attached, this is an album that examines intimacy with grace. And it leaves us wondering why Iron & Wine has avoided going back to basics for so long. Welcome home! © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2019 | Sub Pop Records

Fifteen years after its first release in March 2004, Our Endless Numbered Days has re-emerged in all its splendour, this time in Deluxe edition. In 2002, the album The Creek Drank The Cradle introduced us to the subtleties of Iron & Wine’s music and the mastermind behind it, Sam Beam, a small, bearded genius in a shirt from South Carolina. This second album is more masterfully composed and features eight previously unreleased demos for the hard-core fans. Beam is in a league of his own with his soft rhythms, excellent command of vocal harmonies and innate sense of melody, like a kind of American descendant of Nick Drake. His folk music is still delicate and timeless as ever in Naked As We Came and even more so in the crown jewel of the album Sunset Soon Forgotten and it focuses on affairs of the heart more so than the music that Iron & Wine would later record. Even though this was a debut album from his youth, it was incredibly mature. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released March 23, 2004 | Sub Pop Records

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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Alternative & Indie - Released August 31, 2018 | Sub Pop Records

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This EP takes over where 2017's album Beast Epic left off: and that's because its six tracks come from the same recording session. Sam Beam had said that he'd be back a year later with a nice surprise. And, as promised, here is an earthy record that cuts a shining path through the undergrowth. With this romantic EP, Iron & Wine is staying faithful to folk ballads and floaty choruses. It's a plunge into the ensemble's more or less misty memories. Iron & Wine's name has never fit so well.Taking on some painful subjects in a sublime state of semi-drunkenness, Waves of Galveston returns to the tragic event of 1900 when the Texan town was devastated by a hurricane. Over a simple folk melody, Sam Beam imagines, a century later, the catastrophe and the calm after the storm. There's a moving description of the scene, made marvellous by its easy singing ("There's a graveyard by the pizza parlor" / "Papa left you for Heaven after your Mama lost her song"). The American songwriter has a gift for sharpening emotion without falling into florid overwriting. Psychedelic folk ballads against a moderate groove (What Hurts Worse) and some very cool folk (Last of Your Rock 'n' Roll Heroes) rub shoulders with more serious cello strains and tinkling pianos (Milkweed). With Weed Garden, Iron & Wine will seduce fans thanks to a rich and delicate poetry shot through with optimism. © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 18, 2009 | Sub Pop Records

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Rock - Released November 8, 2005 | Sub Pop Records

Iron and Wine's debut record, The Creek Drank the Cradle, is written, produced, and performed by Sam Beam and features only Beam's voice, a gently strummed acoustic guitar, some slide guitar, and the occasional banjo. Iron and Wine creates intimate and emotional songs, recorded bedroom-style but never letting the lo-fi get in the way of the tune. The obvious comparison has to be Lou Barlow/Sebadoh/Sentridoh, as they share the same breathy voice, melancholy outlook on life, and devotion to Nick Drake. The difference is that there are no traces of punk rock or noise for the sake of noise in Iron and Wine's music. Beam isn't interested in rocking out or obscuring the beauty that bursts from within his simple songs; he embraces it and lets his sadness twist in the wind for all to see. Besides, his vocal harmonies are more soft rock than punk rock. "Lion's Mane" opens the record and immediately takes your breath away as Beam's voice is so beautiful and his hooks are razor sharp. Every song that follows is just as memorable, Beam sounding positively angelic as he harmonizes with himself. "The Rooster Moans" is a chilling side trip into Appalachian folk; "Southern Anthem" a falsetto-led indie-gospel track with an absolutely soaring chorus. The simple musical backing never gets boring either, as there are musical hooks to match the vocal hooks -- the banjo in "Lion's Mane," the double-tracked repeating slide at the end of "Faded from the Winter," the gently chugging rhythm of "Upward Over the Mountain." As soon as the almost jaunty, Neil Young-esque album closer, "Muddy Hymnal," ends, you'll want to hit repeat and start again. The Creek Drank the Cradle is a stunning debut and one of the best records of 2002. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 24, 2015 | Black Cricket Recording Co.

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 16, 2013 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 25, 2011 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 31, 2018 | Sub Pop Records

This EP takes over where 2017's album Beast Epic left off: and that's because its six tracks come from the same recording session. Sam Beam had said that he'd be back a year later with a nice surprise. And, as promised, here is an earthy record that cuts a shining path through the undergrowth. With this romantic EP, Iron & Wine is staying faithful to folk ballads and floaty choruses. It's a plunge into the ensemble's more or less misty memories. Iron & Wine's name has never fit so well.Taking on some painful subjects in a sublime state of semi-drunkenness, Waves of Galveston returns to the tragic event of 1900 when the Texan town was devastated by a hurricane. Over a simple folk melody, Sam Beam imagines, a century later, the catastrophe and the calm after the storm. There's a moving description of the scene, made marvellous by its easy singing ("There's a graveyard by the pizza parlor" / "Papa left you for Heaven after your Mama lost her song"). The American songwriter has a gift for sharpening emotion without falling into florid overwriting. Psychedelic folk ballads against a moderate groove (What Hurts Worse) and some very cool folk (Last of Your Rock 'n' Roll Heroes) rub shoulders with more serious cello strains and tinkling pianos (Milkweed). With Weed Garden, Iron & Wine will seduce fans thanks to a rich and delicate poetry shot through with optimism. © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
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Rock - Released February 22, 2005 | Sub Pop Records

Anyone still hoping that Sam Beam and Iron & Wine will ever go back to the lo-fi sound of their first album might as well give up on that pipe dream. On the 2005 EP Woman King, Iron & Wine's sound is more produced and varied than ever. The record's arrangements are overflowing with a wealth of percussion, vocal harmonies, banjos, violins, and pianos. Beam's vocals, while always a thing of beauty, sound more assured and powerful than ever. Iron & Wine sound like a real band here; if you heard them in a big-budget Hollywood film, you wouldn't even flinch. The widening and smoothing of the band's approach does Beam's songs great favors, too. While his songwriting is as emotionally direct and haunting as ever (no amount of studio sheen could change that), this EP never feels insular, as his previous albums sometimes did. It sounds widescreen and universal. Woman King is too short to be considered the high point of Iron & Wine's career -- it certainly points in that direction, though. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 25, 2007 | Sub Pop Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 17, 2015 | Black Cricket - Brown Records

It turns out that bearded gents Sam Beam of Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses were friends in their hometown of Columbia, South Carolina back before they were ever touring-bill companions or Sub Pop labelmates (mid- to late aughts), and well before they recorded a covers album together. Perhaps a studio collaboration was inevitable or even overdue given their amity, frequent path-crossing, and shared tastes and influences represented small-scale here on the 12-track Sing Into My Mouth. The title is taken from lyrics in the opening track, "This Must Be the Place" by Talking Heads, a sign of the relative diversity to come, which bridges Sade, John Cale, El Perro del Mar, and Peter La Farge. The Talking Heads tune is a toned-down take with acoustic and slide guitars, bass, piano, accordion, and light percussion, representative of an album full of slide guitar-heavy arrangements that fall squarely within folky expectations. Versions most similar to the originals include Ronnie Lane's "Done This One Before," '70s U.K. band Unicorn's "No Way Out of Here" (better known via David Gilmore's cover), Spiritualized's "Straight and Narrow," and fellow South Carolinians the Marshall Tucker Band's beautifully spare "Ab's Song" -- all folk-inspired or twang-leaning to begin with, and covered affectionately with Beam and Bridwell trading lead-vocal duty throughout the record. Most altered are the duo's reworkings of the strings-supported, Brill Building-esque "God Knows (You Gotta Give to Get)" by Sweden's El Perro del Mar, which is slowed down here and given an earthy woodwind and guitar delivery; Sade's "Bullet Proof Soul," which still sounds uniquely Sade despite a rootsy rearrangement; and Them Two's 1967 soul plea "Am I a Good Man?," previously covered by Bridwell's Band of Horses and captured with enthusiasm on Sing Into My Mouth by piano, reed instruments, electric guitars, bass, and percussion. Other songs include Bonnie Raitt's "Anyday Woman," John Cale's "You Know Me More Than I Know," and J.J. Cale's "Magnolia." That kind of variety keeps things interesting, though none of the arrangements comes as a real surprise with the exception of the closer, "Coyote, My Little Brother" (later covered by Pete Seeger but recorded by its songwriter Peter La Farge in 1963), a yodeling, Native American-inspired lament that gets full dream pop treatment with Bridwell on lead. Still, the represented songwriters and the sequencing, which nimbly waltzes through 50 years of song selections beginning with a quirky new wave tune and ending with a howling cautionary ballad, are rendered with grace. Those attracted to the collaboration's premise will very likely appreciate its results. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 28, 2016 | Black Cricket Recording Co. - Keep Your Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 16, 2013 | Nonesuch

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 29, 2010 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 2, 2017 | Black Cricket Recording Co.

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 11, 2015 | Sub Pop Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 23, 2019 | Sub Pop Records