Iron and Wine – Sea and the Rhythm

Iron and WineSea and the Rhythm EP (Sub Pop)

For those unfamiliar with the plaintive, almost-unproduced four-tracked work of Sam Beam, that restrained voice around which Miami’s Iron and Wine orbits, last year’s The Creek Drank the Cradle was a heartbreaking amalgam of banjo, slide guitar, dust and longing. His songs, which draw from all of the Southern standbys – bluegrass, folk, blues and gospel – lament the loss of loves and better times, just as the simple arrangements and folksy instrumentation anchor the sound in a time gone by.

Sam Beam is not an artist one really hopes or expects to “evolve” his sound or “take off in a new direction.” His music has a very intentional anachronistic quality to it, the nature of which sort of defies updating. And so it is not disappointment or boredom but gratitude with which we receive these 5 songs, each of which would have been worthy of making the cut for The Creek Drank the Cradle, and a few of which would have been some of the strongest on the LP. Notably, the title track is a beautiful sad love song that boasts Beam’s boldest vocals to date, to breathtaking effect, and “Jesus the Mexican Boy” successfully weaves a narrative more concrete than the songwriter’s usual (admittedly well-crafted) vague stories.

5 thoughts on “Iron and Wine – Sea and the Rhythm”

  1. Wow, Beam really is a great addition to my collection. Nice to be reminded every few years of an artist’s subtlety in these days of Radiohead-inspired blip & bleeps. Slide on, my man.

  2. Iron and Wine (Beam) is the best music I’ve heard in years, I haven’t stopped listening to him since April when I first heard “creek”

  3. Just heard Jesus the mexican boy , on , that I listen on line in Paris . Very nice stuff…Want to check if the other songs have the same quality and sound …

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