09 June 2007

"I'm about to double up."

Billboard has an article on Iron & Wine's new record, The Shepherd's Dog. A strong year of releases for sure, but this is one I had forgotten about. Sam Beam is so consistent that he often gets overlooked, but Woman King and the Calexico collaboration In the Reins were both great leaps forward, each beautiful and lush. I see his progression as very similar to that of the Mountain Goats, from lo-fi minimalist story-tellers to equally effective songwriters employing more pristine production and additional instrumentation.This is a cut from the soundtrack to the Scarlett Johansson movie In Good Company (a pinnacle of modern cinema). It's one of the most epic ballads I've ever heard but I feel like it has never gotten the praise it deserves. The version from the soundtrack has soaring harmonies but it also features an awkward acoustic bassline which has a melodic bounce to it that just counters everything that's soothing and heartbreaking about the song. This is a live recording from NPR's All Songs Considered that's bare and transfixing.

Iron & Wine The Trapeze Swinger

The Shepherd's Dog is out September 25th on Sub Pop.

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