Sunday, April 15, 2007

Band Review: Iron and Wine

Sub Pop has kept me satisfied as the record label for many of my favorite independent artists and groups, including Iron and Wine. Sam Beam is the man behind it all. Soulful and simple, with vocals that are often sung barely above a whisper, he can create music that resembles a simple lullabye that's been dressed up with delicate notes and smooth lyrics. Iron and Wine's songs unfold like stories, each one has its own individual theme while still maintaining the folky essence that gives Beam's music its character.

"Waiting for a Superman" does a good job of highlighting Beam's ability to create uncomplicated beauty without needing anything more than his soft spoken voice and a lightly played guitar. "Such Great Heights," featured on the Garden State Soundtrack, does the same as The Postal Service's well-known and primarily electronic jam is taken down a couple of notches so that it sounds more like a timeless piece from the past rather than a new track.

Iron and Wine's songs have a personal quality about them without being too emotionally heavy. Listeners will be drawn-in and maybe even taken-back to another time while a banjo and acoustic guitar each play their part in conjuring up a sense of nostalgia within them. Even though they only have a few albums under their belt, it's apparent that Sam Beam's Iron and Wine value quality over quantity, as each song reflects a good investment of time and talent.

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