Iron & Wine returns to roots

Folk phenomenon Samuel Beam (aka Iron & Wine) brings to life a fresh yet authentic sound on his fourth album, “Kiss Each Other Clean.”

Sam and the band delve into the music scene with a renovated pop sound that complements their folk origin.

Although this is his first album with Warner Bros. Records, Beam found reassurance while working with Brian Deck, the same producer of the musical mastermind’s past three albums. Their matured partnership has allowed Beam to take more risks in this tuneful journey, while still maintaining the purity of his music.

Unlike his previous albums, Beam takes a more innovative approach in order to satisfy his vision of ’70s radio-friendly hits inspired by his youth.

In doing so, “Kiss Each Other Clean” is infused with catchy pop melodies, driving bass lines and rhythmical surprises, taking Iron & Wine out of the whimsical folk appearance and into the development of artists apt to push musical boundaries.

Beam opens the album with “Walking Far From Home,” a track pre-released on Nov. 26, which not only captivates the audience with a powerful arrangement, but also sets the tone for the remaining nine songs.

The project progresses into an experimental, bluesy-folk ensemble, hinted by the striking presence of the saxophone in numbers like “Me And Lazarus” and “Big Burned Hand,” but never strays too far from the original folk charm, as seen in the heartfelt serenade “Godless Brother In Love” and the upbeat melody “Half Moon.”

The mastery of authentic folk can also be seen in “Tree By The River”; however, Beam does not fail to push the envelope with the provocative, unexpected collaboration of sounds that present a cohesive stretch into new musical territory with a song like “Monkeys Uptown.”

The story of the album is complete with the final song, “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me,” summing up the progression that Beam has achieved as an artist.

With “Kiss Each Other Clean,” Iron & Wine releases another wonderful addition to the world of music, leaving the audience craving for more and anticipating what the horizon brings.

Reach the reporter at ahavir@asu.edu


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