Sam Beam, the heavily bearded indie virtuoso better known as Iron & Wine, has mastered the craft of the beautiful sad song. His folksy songs tell withered tales of loss and longing. Carrying these songs out of the misery on Beam's most eclectic album to date, Kiss Each Other Clean, is his haunting, pristine wail, reminiscent of My Morning Jacket's Jim James.
When lead single "Walking Far From Home" was released in November of last year as part of Record Store Day, it became clear that Beam was after something sonically new (for him) with this release. The second single "Tree by the River" imbues a warm melancholy on the listener with its gentle acoustic riffs and dry cadence. Beam employs the thumb piano on psychedelic epic "Rabbit Will Run." And Jazz and Funk show up to the party on "Big Burned Hand."
There's not a weak song in the collection, a ten-track testament to Iron & Wine's growth into one of this generation's finest singer-songwriters.
Album: Kiss Each Other Clean (2011)
Artist: Iron & Wine
Label: Warner Bros.
Songs: (1) Walking Far From Home (2) Me and Lazarus (3) Tree by the River (4) Monkeys Uptown (5) Half Moon (6) Rabbit Will Run (7) Godless Brother in Love (8) Big Burned Hand (9) Glad Man Singing (10) Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me