Monday, January 02, 2012

Worth It in 2011: #19 - Iron and Wine

I long ago wrote off Sam Beam as a sad-eyed troubadour of depressing M&M commercials.  This was dumb of me, but in my defense, NOBODY TOLD ME his songs have hilarious saxophone parts!  Not to mention gorgeous falsetto harmonies, crazy fuzz bass, floppy attempts at R&B, mallet percussion, slide whistles, Paul Simon polyrhythms, and long prophetic visions that recall Dylan in their uncanny humor.  That stuff doesn’t show up in every song, of course, but most of Beam’s melodies are crafty and compelling enough to stand up to any arrangement, even if it’s just acapella in the shower.  Also, just try looking away from the hypnotic album cover — it’s like the beard follows you.

(Way better than the Civil Wars' Barton Hollow.)

Iron and Wine
Kiss Each Other Clean
(4AD/Warner Bros.)

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