Sam Beam, or Iron and Wine as he is more commonly known, is one of the best songwriters of this generation. For the last ten years or so, Iron and Wine has consistently provided simply beautiful music with not much more than an acoustic guitar and his graceful voice. Songs like “The Trapeze Swinger“, “Boy With a Coin” and his cover of the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” are among some of the best songs of the last decade. When people make fun of hipster-ish music by saying its just “sad guy with a beard playing acoustic guitar”, they are probably unknowingly referring to Iron and Wine.
His most recent album Ghost on Ghost continues Sam’s streak but in a slightly different fashion, beefing up the instrumentation and overall size of the sound. This new style allows Sam’s music ingeniousness to shine through differently then ever before. Lucky for us though, Sam still can absolutely kill these songs in a stripped down fashion with just his voice and a guitar. See proof below in the form of his recent videos recorded at Guitar Center as part of their live performance series.
“Caught in the Briars” is an extremely breezy summery track on the album. The live version lets Sam’s vocals lines hang out there and breathe a bit more. Time seems to freeze whenever listening to Sam sing and there is no better case for that then this song.
“Grace For Saints and Ramblers” is a bit bouncier, showcasing a Sam’s guitar prowess and unique songwriting ability. The refrain keeps chugging and eventually crescendos into the sweet relief of the chorus.
Iron and Wine will be performing in Los Angeles at the First Unitarian Church on Sunday and then on Jimmy Kimmel on Monday. What!?! The guy goes from playing in a church to playing on Jimmy Kimmel in a 24 hour period. Only Iron and Wine….
Check out both songs below. And for reference you can click the links above each for the original to familiarize. Enjoy!