Iron & Wine
The fifth studio album from singer/songwriter Sam Beam—who records as Iron & Wine—is by far the cheeriest record he's ever made.
Beam, known for his quieted and haunting voice, unleashes on Ghost On Ghost. Happy church organ, marching snare and jazz horns accompany Beam's singing that on this album is more like a sunny afternoon breeze than the pensive articulation of his past records. Even on songs like the two-minute ditty "Joy," when Beam does temper things a bit, the subject matter is still hopeful and about falling in love.
With shiny blues and upbeat grooves that utilized more instruments than any Beam work previous, there is a vintage quality to the album. This is not the subdued folk his fans are used to. It's a bold album with a wide emotional range that borders on fanciful.
Nowhere on Ghost On Ghost is that more evident than the track "Grace for Saints and Ramblers." It's a bouncy song that conjures up images of a Southern porch jam complete with handclaps and vocals that dance. It has no equal in the Iron & Wine library.
Ghost On Ghost is more than just the happiest album Iron & Wine has ever made. Even with its retro qualities, it is still a big step forward for the normally sorrowful-sounding folk singer. For Beam, this album just might indicate a brand-new direction—and that's great news.
Iron & Wine Giveaway!
The Source is giving away a vinyl LP and CD copy of Ghost On Ghost. Included in this prize package is a handwritten and autographed lyric sheet for "Grace for Saints and Ramblers." All you have to do is send a tweet to @sourceweekly with your favorite lyric from any Iron & Wine song. Hashtag your tweets with #I&W and we'll pick a winner! You've got until April 30 to enter.