Posts Tagged ‘Sam Beam’

Today is Sam Beam’s 43rd birthday the songwriting mastermind behind the band Iron and Wine and he’s chosen to celebrate in a rather morbid way. The indie folk artist has released a video for his new single “Thomas County Law” that finds presiding over his own funeral.

The track itself is a gentle ballad with thumping guitar strums and careful string accompaniments evoking Beam’s earlier work. Its J. Austin Wilson-directed video, however, reflects more on the melancholy lyrics like,  “There’s nowhere safe to bury all the time I’ve killed/ Nobody looks away when the sun goes down.” The clip sees Beam as a small town preacher cleaning and prepping his church for a funeral. Only it turns out it’s Beam himself in the casket, as well as on the pulpit and digging the grave.

“Thomas County Law” is the latest single from Iron & Wine’s forthcoming LP, tiltled “Beast Epic” It’s out via Sub Pop Records on August 25th, and Beam will begin touring behind the record the very next day.

‘Beast Epic’ (Release date: August 25th, 2017) All customers who pre-order the LP version of ‘Beast Epic’ from the Sub Pop Mega Mart will receive the album on Loser Edition colored vinyl, while supplies last.

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Iron & Wine is excited to participate in Record Store Day 2017 with this blue vinyl release of Archives Volume 3. This entry in the ongoing series jumps to the year 2009 and that fertile time between The Shepherd’s Dog and Kiss Each Other Clean. Volumes 1 and 2 explored the home spun recordings from The Creek Drank the Cradle-era, while these two tracks have a fuller and richer sound of those two recordings. “A Stranger Lays Besides Me” has been performed live a number of times and become a fan favorite. “Miss Bottom of the Hill” has never been heard in either a live or recorded format. This package may contain one of FIVE GOLDEN TICKETS, granting free admission worldwide for you (+ guest) to every Iron & Wine performance.

Pressed on translucent blue vinyl and limited to 2000 copies worldwide.

As part of an ongoing set of releases featuring material recorded at various points from Iron and Wine’s career, the Iron and Wine ‘Archive Series’ returns with ‘Volume No. 3’.

This third instalment in the series jumps almost ten years forward to 2009 and showcases two songs that could have easily found themselves on either ‘The Shepherd’s Dog’ or ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’.

The A-side track and a fan favorite ‘A Stranger Lay Beside Me’ has turned up on tour and been performed in a live setting a number of times over the years. The flip side features the track ‘Miss Bottom of the Hill’ (which, until earlier this year, was believed to have been erased in the great Sam Beam computer crash of 2010) is a sleeper of a track.

In total the 12” clocks in at just over 13 minutes.

But wait Black Cricket is proud to offer FIVE Golden Tickets – each of which guarantee the finder to a lifetime of entry to live performances by Iron and Wine.* The Golden Tickets will be inserted by the record plant and then packaged and sent blindly worldwide. So whether it’s your home town, Seattle, Dublin, Sydney or Des Moines Black Cricket have you covered (* certain restrictions apply. For entry, see label website for full details).

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Over the summer, a portion of a version of Cyndi Laupers classic ballad “Time After Time” recorded by Iron and Wine  was used as part of the McDonald’s ad campaign . Now Sam Beam has released the entire song,

Cover songs have become somewhat of a parallel career recently for Sam Beam, the sole force behind Iron and Wine, with his acoustic guitar and gentle voice being used for either heartfelt purposes as can be heard here or ironic, such as when he tackled Gwar “Sick Of You” Last year, he teamed up with Ben Bridwell of the Band Of Horses in which they recorded 12 diverse covers ranging from Talking Heads “This Must Be The Place” to Sade “Bulletproof Soul” , Pete Seeger “Coyote, My Little Brother” to Spiritualized “The Straight and Narrow”.

Earlier this year, Beam had returned to singing his own compositions, releasing the wonderful “Love Letter For Fire” an album of duets that he wrote and recorded with Jesca Hoop. Beam has not put out an album comprised solely of Iron and Wine material since 2013’s Ghost on Ghost.

“Time After Time” was the second single from Lauper’s blockbuster 1983 debut, She’s So Unusual. The song received a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year, but lost out to Tina Turner’s equally timeless “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

Listen to Iron and Wine’s Cover of “Time After Time”

 

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Despite their disparate backgrounds, Sam Beam (Iron and Wine) and Jesca Hoop have managed to make an album that’s both hushed and harmonious, one that finds this, their first dual effort, blurring the lines between the sedate and the seductive. Beam’s no stranger to this approach; his efforts with Iron & Wine generally find him dwelling in more cerebral realms. Hoop, on the other hand, has yet to establish an identity with any such distinction; four albums on,.

Happily then, Hoop’s recognition factor is likely to climb significantly. Beam may be the marquee name here, but it’s Hoop’s supple harmonies that give this effort its sense of purpose. Most of these songs rarely rise above a whisper, their dreamy designs and precious approach suggesting a nocturnal feel that’s consistent with a nu-folk noir. Songs like “The Lamb You Lost,” “We Two Are A Moon,” “Every Songbird Says” and “Bright Lights and Goodbyes” keep that consistency intact. Likewise, Hoop’s focused take on “Soft Place To Land” and Beam’s immediate follow-up, “Sailor to Siren,” suggest each of these artists might qualify as dimly-lit folkies if that was indeed their desire.

From the 8/5/16 Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop digital single

Jesca Hoop and Iron & Wine's Sam Beam

Without even listening to this record,  Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop are perfect complements for each other.

“Neither of us had written a song with anyone else, so we both were like, ‘How do we do this?’” Beam says. “Because our own styles are fixed things, it was kind of like, ‘What’s that going to be like when you put those two together?’”

“It was like walking around a forest in the dark,” adds Hoop. “A nice healthy forest.” “With one leg,” adds Beam.

Both Sam Beam, under his stage name Iron & Wine, and Hoop have found success in the past decade as idiosyncratic solo artists in a region of the musical universe somewhere close to Americana and folk, but often experimenting with rock, country, pop and even electronic music, and always penning interesting, ear-catching lyrics.

“There’s a song of hers called ‘Moon Rock Needle’ that I discovered,” says Beam. “The first line is, ‘There’s food at your house, let’s go to your house.’ After that I was hooked! And I just got enamored with her voice and her songwriting.

“For a while I had this seed of an idea for a project of duets,” he continues. “I like duets. I like the conversation element of it; you can have a monologue song that you’ve written for yourself, have two people sing it and it becomes a very different song. I thought we might sound really great together, so I asked her to come on tour.”

Jesca Hoop accepted, going on tour with Iron & Wine, performing as the opening act. But it was Hoop who made the first move to record music together. “I took a chance and asked him,” she says. “When we started singing together, it was just the most natural thing. It didn’t take much trying to find common ground.”

To join them on that common ground, they enlisted musicians, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, multi-instrumentalist Rob Burger (John Zorn, Lucinda Williams), violist Eyvind Kang and former Soul Coughing bassist Sebastian Steinberg. Together these musicians helped to create a nocturnal, lazy river for Beam and Hoop’s vocals to swim around and harmonize in.

“It’s all acoustic, but there are some songs that sound straight-up synthetic in a strange way,” Beam says. “There are some musical flourishes, but it’s more of a melodic, vocal record.”

The finished product, “Love Letter for Fire”, puts Hoop and Beam’s vocals and lyrics front and center for the listener to decipher.

“The recording process was a fluid joy,” says Hoop, “but the writing process was a lot of stumbling around in the dark. But you know when you’re in the dark and your eyes eventually adjust, then you can see? That’s what it was like.”

“It was a lot of emailing back and forth,” says Beam. “We would send poems, trade lines, just do things to get things started, and just have fun. Then we would get together and do tours, and hash things out across the table, because there’s a lot of nuances that don’t get translated over emails.”

On many of the songs, Beam and Hoop seem to be addressing each other as lovers. When asked about the possible discomfort of writing and singing a love song as platonic friends, Hoop quickly replies, “Have you ever been in love? Yes? Then let’s write a song about it right now. I’m sure there’s something you could say about it, because it’s something we can all relate to, and there’s endless material to draw from. From our own experiences, to the experiences of our parents, brothers and sisters, our friends and family.”

“We’ve both written love songs,” adds Beam, “but to have someone else’s experiences and thoughts come into play in your own songwriting. … I’d send her a line, and then she’d send me a line and I’d be like, ‘Oh, I never thought about that.’ I had to adjust. As a writer it’s fun, and when you have a man and woman singing together you automatically have a sexual tension whether you’re talking about love or not.”

“We still have different opinions on what [the songs] mean,” says Hoop. “I mean, every time you sing them, they say something different to you.”

“That’s kind of like a conversation though, isn’t it?” says Beam. “Most of the times you have a conversation with someone and you sort of think you know what they’re trying to say.” “Exactly,” says Hoop.

From the new album released on 15th April 2016 Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop album “Love Letter for Fire”

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop's new album, Love Letter For Fire, comes out April 15.

It’s been 15 years since Sam Beam released his first collection of whispery, low-definition solo recordings, recorded at home under the name Iron & Wine. Back then, it would have been difficult to imagine how many directions Beam’s music would travel: Iron & Wine’s records have evolved into lavish exercises in horn-laden Technicolor sprawl, while Beam has most recently set aside time for album-length collaborations with Band Of Horses’ Ben Bridwell and now singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop.

Hoop, who’s long deserved more attention, proves an excellent foil for Beam’s lived-in warmth: Her versatile voice is equally suited to lilting harmonies and the more distinct and esoteric lead work she puts into “Chalk It Up To Chi.” That’s one of the 13 songs on Love Letter For Fire, on which the two singers stretch and prod at the boundaries of what they usually do. Take “Welcome To Feeling,” which opens the album with 60 seconds of perfectly packed vocal harmonies and strings: It’s an all-too-brief sketch with a painting’s worth of flourishes.

Love Letter For Fire was, at least in part, inspired by the pair’s desire to make songs that function as conversations rather than soliloquies, and their work backs that up. In the gorgeous “Every Songbird Says,” Hoop and Beam trade bits of the lyric rapidly, occasionally blending their voices as they build to a cooing earworm of a chorus. With the help of producer Tucker Martine and a smart, subtle band, the two achieve a fine balance — of songwriting sensibilities, of time in the spotlight — in the service of songs that feel at once fresh and timeless.

Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) Teams With Jesca Hoop for Duets Album and Tour

Sam Beam aka Iron & Wine, is releasing an album of duets with Jesca Hoop. Love Letter for Fire is out April 15th on Sub Pop Records. They’re also taking the record on tour across North America, starting in May. Above, listen to first single “Every Songbird Says”; scroll down for the dates and Sam Beam’s album cover photo.
The album features contributions from Wilco’s Glenn Kotche (drums, percussion), Robert Burger (keys), Eyvind Kang (violin, viola), Sebastian Steinberg (bass), and Edward Rankin-Parker (cello). Tucker Martine produced, recorded, and mixed the record. Richard Dodd mastered it.
Last week, Beam debuted two new songs  “Kicking the Old Rain” and “Thomas County Law.” Those are from a forthcoming release, not Love Letter for Fire.

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Long before the sincerity trends, the legions of bearded lumbersexuals and the tear-stained folk band explosion…there was Sam Beam.  Armed with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and an occasional female accompaniment, Iron & Wine reignited our culture’s reverance for the wayward folk artist.  The project has grown and evolved for well over a decade now and still going strong, but 2016 sees Beam carving a new path with fellow singer/songwriter Jesca Hoop.

Hoop, who has already collaborated with the Iron and Wine project before, adds the perfect amount of harmony and vibrato to Beam’s hushed vocal delivery. First single Every Songbird Says is as easy on the ears as the crackle of a campfire or the wind blowing through trees overhead.  Violins and pianos join the two in a sweeping 3 /12 minutes of chamber pop suitable for any Nick Drake b-side.  If this ain’t an insta-buy, I don’t know what is.

“Every Songbird Says” from the 4/15/16 Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop album Love Letter for Fire , Jesca Hoop and Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) announce a new album of duets – ‘Love Letter For Fire’ out April 15 on Sub Pop Records / Black Cricket Recording Co.
Listen to the first track “Every Songbird Says”

We knew that putting a GWAR song on the Undercover list would present a big challenge, because who wants to mess with a band that has developed such a strong following ‘round here and whose songs are so closely linked to their presentation? But we talked Undercover alum Sam Beama.k.a. Iron And Wine—into making a special trip to Chicago to play “Sick Of You,” which he chose from the band’s vast catalog (and made his own, as you’ll see).

In one of the latest artists to stop by and cover a song for their “Undercover” series, which features artists selecting songs to cover from a list. you can watch Sam Beam reinterpret GWAR‘s “Sick of You” as a folk song. (Make sure you stick around until the end, when he gets a very special visitor.)
Visit The A.V. Club: http://avclub.com for more covers

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Iron & Wine
Archive Series Volume No. 2
October 16 – Black Cricket Recording Co
Limited Edition 7″ • Pre Order: bit.ly/bc002preorder
A. Albuquerque (Neil Young)

Sam Beam began his new series of archival Iron & Wine recordings. Archive Series Volume No. 1 featured 16 home recordings, and the follow-up features just two.Archive Series Volume No. 2 is a 7″ that’s out October 16th via Black Cricket Recording Co. The A-side is his cover of Neil Young‘s Tonight’s the Night track “Albuquerque”.

Archive Series Volume No. 1 collects songs from the same period as The Creek Drank the Cradle

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Sam Beam has announced a new series of archival Iron & Wine recordings, which he’ll release on his new label Black Cricket Recording Co. First up is Archive Series Volume No. 1, which is out on February 24th. It features 16 home recordings from the same period as his 2002 debut album The Creek Drank the Cradle.

Check out “Everyone’s Summer of ’95”

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The album was digitally transferred from the original cassettes. It comes packaged in gatefold artwork featuring the Bird of Paradise quilt

Archive Series Volume No. 1: tracklist

01 Slow Black River, 02 The Wind Is Low, 03 Eden, 04 Two Hungry Blackbirds, 05 Freckled Girl, 06 Judgement,
07 Sing Song Bird, 08 Beyond the Fence, 09 Quarters in a Pocket, 10 Loretta, 11 Everyone’s Summer of ’95,
12 Minor Piano Keys, 13 Your Sly Smile, 14 Halfway to Richmond, 15 Wade Across the Water, 16 Postcard

Along with the release of Volume No. 1, Beam teamed with the Picture Show for the short film Iron & Wine: Dreamers and Makers are My Favorite People. It features Beam performing at the Jerry Run Summer Theater in Cleveland, West Virginia. Watch the trailer below.

In other Iron & Wine news, Beam will perform at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC on January 10 as part of an Emmylou Harris tribute concert.