Monday, August 21, 2006

Go Folk Yourself...

There was a long period where I wouldn't be caught dead listening to uber-mellow music. It had to be loud and agressive. Apparently, those days have come and gone.

I've been preaching about Iron & Wine, aka Sam Beam, for about two years now and must admit that I'm a little surprised he hasn't gotten bigger than he has. On one hand, I find it kind of upsetting that someone graced with this kind of talent slips through the cracks. Then again, earlier today a friend pointed out that Fergie's "London Bridge" or whatever was the most downloaded single on iTunes, so I suppose there is no accounting for taste. On the other hand, I kind of enjoy that he hasn't gotten bigger. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's just the music elitist asshole in me that wants to keep him to a small, truly appreciative group. Safe from the masses.

I had the absolute pleasure of seeing him perform live this past Thursday at McCarren Pool Park in Brooklyn, NY. A rather strange concert venue, but a magical evening nonetheless. He sounds as perfect live as he does on his studio recordings. If you aren't familiar with his music, I suppose it would be described as indie folk. A lot of people compare him to Nick Drake, but I don't see it. Yes, they both play acoustic guitar and craft very minimal songs, but that is where the similarities stop, in my opinion. Iron & Wine's songs are full of lush harmonies crafted over fingerpicked or gently strummed acoustic guitar. Sam Beam's voice is that of an angel. If Jimi Hendrix is God playing guitar, then Sam Beam is God singing.

I am sure that this is the first of many posts featuring the musical stylings of Iron & Wine. These songs are from one of Iron & Wine's early demos, simply know as Home Recordings 9.20.02. I believe this is one of the two demos he sent to SubPop, which landed him a record contract. I am pretty sure these were recorded on an analog 4-track recorder which explains the hiss that is present throughout. Honestly, it only adds to the songs. If you own any of his albums, which you definitely should, you will recognize some of these songs. Download. Turn the lights down low. Light a candle. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Enjoy...

Recording provided by the fine folks over at the Passing Afternoon website / message board (Aarvid [webmaster] for audio). THE Iron & Wine fansite.
Photographs taken by Ryan Pardue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been looking everywhere for these, and they've been gone everywhere I find them. =(