IRON & WINE – ” Calm on the Valley “

Posted: April 7, 2021 in MUSIC
May be an image of text that says 'IRON AND WINE Archive Series Volume no.'

For two decades, Samuel Beam has been releasing music as Iron & Wine. His official debut album “The Creek Drank the Cradle” was released in 2002 on Sub Pop Records—but in a different reality, that may not have been his official first album. A month from today, Beam and Sub Pop will release the “lost-in-time” actual debut called Tallahassee; Archive Series Volume no. 5.

The collection of songs was recorded from 1998 to 1999, when Beam attended Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts. Its 11 tracks were saved by Beam’s former roommate and past Iron & Wine member EJ Holowicki, who worked as both engineer and bassist on Tallahassee.

The first glimpse we’re getting at these lost recordings is the serene, acoustic-based “Calm on the Valley.” It’s a track that fits right in with the early releases of Iron & Wine—a folky balm featuring pastoral critters and the melancholic feeling of loss twilight inspires.

The eleven-song collection was culled from a number of recordings that had been (mostly) forgotten by Beam himself but had been preserved by former roommate and one-time Iron & Wine member, EJ Holowicki. Holowicki, whom went on to work as a sound designer at Skywalker Sound, was a catalyst in making sure Beam documented these songs while the two were roommates in a house on St. Augustine St. near campus. In addition to serving as both engineer and bassist, Holowicki also worked as archival producer in preparing the tracks for official release.

Tallahassee, with its sparse instrumental canvas and live-in one-room takes, is very much akin to early Iron & Wine releases, The Creek Drank the Cradle, The Sea & The Rhythm, and In the Reins. Early music file-sharers have long claimed ownership of a number of early Iron & Wine recordings, many that still have yet to be officially released. While this record will not quite correct all the wrongs of the early days of the internet, it will fill in many of the blanks for long-time fans.

“Calm on the Valley” by Iron and Wine​ from their upcoming album “Archive Series Volume No. 5: Tallahassee Recordings’ (Release Date: May 7, 2021)

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