Sunday, September 23, 2007

Iron and Wine

Sam Beam—mountain man of the indie renaissance and front man of Iron and Wine—raised the bar a couple of times in the last few years. Previously, with the 6-pack of sounds packaged in Woman King, then again with the highly polished collection of beautiful guitar work and Americana spell cast by The Shepard's Dog. Not even Sam's deadpan expression could keep us from smiling about the latest tracks.

Shepard's upbeat primary and primo track—Boy with a Coin—deserves applause, or at least inspirits us to clap along. Its lyrical density with strong imagery details a scene as well as any novel could, but with fewer words.

A boy with a coin he found in the weeds
With bullets and pages of trade magazines
Close to a car that flipped on the turn
When God left the ground to circle the world

Layers of guitar rhythms, vocal harmonies and a fluid bass line enchant while hand claps mark time. In the background, choppy drum beats spice the rhythmic recipe while slide guitar drifts through the room like wood smoke.

As the creative talent of Iron and Wine quickly gels, we look forward to another growth spurt, and another road trip through Americana.

Listen to Iron and Wine MP3s at the Sub Pop site:
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