Iron & Wine's latest album is 'an interesting return to a familiar place' (2023)

Band names are weird things. They can arise from the strangest of circumstances. Iron & Wine, the name Sam Beam chose for his band (more specifically, his one-man project that sometimes includes a band), came from a chance stop at a country store in South Georgia.

"I've been making music in my spare time," says Beam, while phoning from Houston before a concert last week, "and I just came across something called 'It's a song.'Veal, Iron and Wine. It was this protein supplement that people used to take, like castor oil. I just saw it on a shelf and thought it was an odd combination of words. It stuck in my head."

When Beam began writing and recording music in 2002, he chose part of the product's name for his stage name. "I always thought it would be more interesting at the marquee than 'Sam Beam,'" he says. "I think it was good instinct. At the same time, he also said something marginally about what he was trying to do with the music, as if accepting the contradictions."

However, the singer and guitarist did not appropriate the full name: Beef, Iron & Wine. "Because it's gross," Beam exclaims, laughing. "It was a gracious poetic liberty."

The last time I saw Iron & Wine was in 2011, it was a full 10 piece band with a horn section and lots of improvisation. But this Saturday, November 11th will be Iron & Wineim Berklee Performance Centerin Boston and Beam says, "This is a little smaller, a five-piece band with a cellist, bassist, drummer and keyboardist. It goes back a bit more and more reflects the sound of the last record ['Beast Epic']. But we also play a lot of older material and some of the old songs are rearranged. It's fun. I feel like the melody stays the same, but that's what you dress it in."

epic beast' is Beam's seventh under the Iron & Wine moniker and first in four years. In the intervening years, however, she recorded two more albums: Sing Into My Mouth, a covers album featuring A-Band of Horses vocalist/guitarist Ben Bridwell, and Love Letter for Fire, a collection of Duets, Originals with Jesca Band. .

Iron & Wine's latest album is 'an interesting return to a familiar place' (1)

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"They were very helpful and inspirational for many different reasons," says Beam, "but I realized that I had gone back to being a member of the cast instead of being the lone person in the middle of the stage doing the monologue." held. I had to re-imagine what my voice is good at and what sounds I like. How you really spend the time performing the song you're making, not just in a way that sounds new, but "appropriate" for the day you're making it. I really accepted that.

"I'm always more interested in what's around the corner than perfecting something," says Beam of his approach to the new album.

Both peaceful and restless, "Beast Epic" consists mostly of smooth and mellow songs. "It's a really relaxing record," says Beam. “I just wanted to set the range up and let things happen. I've spent a lot of time trying to reinvent, or at least expand, the definition of what my band could do for other people and for me."

Iron & Wine's latest album is 'an interesting return to a familiar place' (2)


Iron & Wine's music has taken a variety of directions over the past 15 years, and in some ways "Beast Epic" is a return to Beam's earlier, sparse and mostly acoustic sound.

In the past, Beam, 43, says she's taken a more disciplined approach to writing. He got up in the morning, took his daughters to school and came home to write: "Like he's ticking the clock. He works until I went to pick them up."

Now he says: “There isn't really a set of rules. It's kind of an intuitive thing. These songs seemed to say they were more introspective, and it seemed appropriate to be a little stripped down to make the message's arrangements a little more subservient. At the same time, I feel like the songs have a new freedom that previous material didn't have, making it an interesting return to a familiar place in a different way. I mean, I take writing just as seriously, if not more seriously, I find more joy in it now than ever."

"I feel like the songs have a new freedom that previous material didn't have, so it's an interesting return to a familiar place in a different way."

haz de sam

The songs can be quite rocky, but there are some sharp barbs in the lyrics. "You raised your glass," she sings on "Summer Clouds," "and the scars fell from my heart." On the breakup song "Bitter Truth," he sings, "Some call it bitter truth/a song."

"I was on South by Southwest a few years ago," says Beam of the last song's couplet, "and I was interviewed in the same room as Jerry Jeff Walker. He described one of his songs, which was a tirade of sorts, as a "get even" song. lightning laughs. "So I knew exactly what I was talking about and just put it in my pocket."

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Still, he argues, “You never skip a song. You're only saying your part because you have no one to argue with."

Iron & Wine's latest album is 'an interesting return to a familiar place' (3)

Some critics have suggested that Iron & Wine's "Beast Epic" hints at an artist dealing with a midlife crisis. "I guess it's just realizing that it's youalwaysin crisis,” says Beams with a laugh. “We went from one crisis to the next. It's a rite of passage like my previous albums, it just tells of the journey life takes you on, the victories to celebrate and the losses to take. Lessons that seem to have to be learned over and over again because it seems like the landscape is constantly changing. Once you figure out what the last phase looked like, you'll find yourself in a new phase. The process is not yet complete. That doesn't mean it's harder than it used to be. It's just different."

Beam says he discovers more about himself and the world around him when he engages in writing. "Rarely do you sit down and have an idea that you want to express, like a thesis on a certain topic," he says. "Maybe some people do, but my songs don't come from that. It starts by babbling about a melody, and then the words start sticking, and then you build an architecture out of those words. It's a malleable thing and you figure out what you need. Sometimes it comes from your subconscious, and sometimes it comes just from rearranging two words you wrote together. You never know. It sounds like a ridiculous company and a ridiculous job, but that's how it works."

Beam likes to play around with arrangements of his songs in concert and likes to vary the line-up of the band.

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Iron & Wine's latest album is 'an interesting return to a familiar place' (4)

Beam, whose home base is Durham, North Carolina, says he pulls material from Iron & Wine's entire catalog, adding and deleting different songs each night. "The band can play almost anything, so it's about putting out songs that we haven't played in a long time," he says. And usually there is a short acoustic segment. "I usually reset and that gives the set some dynamism."

The idea that Beam chose a different name for his music suggests that he may have been trying to differentiate between his onstage and offstage roles. But that's not really the case, he says.

"There's not a huge difference. Over the years I've found that it probably would have been more fun to create a character on stage, but that was never really my intention. I definitely accept what people understand what it's about with Iron & Wine, although over the years I've done everything I can to expand on it, for better or for worse. Now I'm just playing with the personality and it's more theatrical than people might imagine."

Iron & Wine's latest album is 'an interesting return to a familiar place' (5)

People, he suggests, probably see his character as a man playing "calm, meditative music, super sensitive," he laughs. "I don't think it's particularly sensitive. People think it's just quiet music andII think it's pretty, but I've done a lot louder and naughtier stuff over the years."

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Beam is quick to note that when it comes to categorizing other people's music, "It's my fault too. You find that you want to define a band very quickly. You want to understand them too. You want to know what you love about them and people have a hard time changing too drastically and also accepting them.

"I think I've changed a lot over the years, but I still have my way of doing things: things you think are important, things that should be celebrated that aren't, and things that are celebrated that are shouldn't be. I love the melody and I think that stays intact, but I've really enjoyed embracing the diversity that music has to offer."


Is Iron and Wine a religious band? ›

Personal life. Beam, his wife Kim, and their five daughters live in Durham, North Carolina. He was raised in the Bible belt as a Christian, but is now an agnostic: "That was a confusing time for me, but I don't miss being misled. I'm not an atheist.

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Who is Sam Beam married to? ›

How old is Iron and Wine? ›

What religion is the Bible Belt? ›

The Bible Belt is a region of the Southern United States in which socially conservative Protestant Christianity plays a strong role in society and politics, and church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.

What denomination is the Bible Belt? ›

The term “Bible Belt” includes Southern Baptists, Methodists and evangelical Protestantism belief systems. A recent survey found that Mississippi is the state with the highest percentage of “very religious” Americans.

What style of music is Game of Thrones? ›

Game of Thrones Theme
"Game of Thrones Main Title Theme"
GenreTelevision soundtrack
LabelVarèse Sarabande
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What style music is Harry Styles? ›

Styles's music has been described as soft rock, pop, and rock, with elements of folk and Britpop.

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Additional information. This get-up-and-go tonic is valuable in stimulating appetite, promoting muscle development, forming red blood cells, and preventing iron anemia.

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Bird was immersed in music from early childhood. He began taking Suzuki-method violin lessons at age four and later earned a degree (1996) in violin performance from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

How old is Andrew Bird? ›

What is the religion of Iron Maiden? ›

The music of Iron Maiden isn't exactly what you'd call religious, however their drummer claims himself as a Christian, citing: "I gave my heart to God." The music of Iron Maiden isn't exactly what you'd call religious, however their drummer claims himself as a Christian, citing: “I gave my heart to God.”

What church does the band Skillet go to? ›

But Skillet isn't strictly a hard-rock band. It's also a Christian band — John grew up in a devout family in Memphis, and Korey's parents co-founded Living Light Christian Church in Kenosha. Skillet has 21 No.

Is red Rocks church biblical? ›

Each of our age groups are exposed to God and His Word by learning age appropriate truths taught directly from the Bible in order to help shepherd our Red Rocks Kids into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. For more information, click here.

What church does Casting Crowns lead worship? ›

First Baptist Church


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