Gust of Wind # 7
Iron & Wine, Around The Well
Sub Pop Records
This Gust of Wind holds us close while the leaves fall from the trees, and the summer memories fade into something more calm, something more tame, something we will miss, but inevitably have to wait for. As the clock spins and the days change into the New Year, this gust of wind will be right there, complementing the haze of autumn.
“>For those of you who are familiar with Iron and Wine, Around the Well is right on point with what you would expect from Sam Beam. Iron and Wine is known for their melancholy harmonies, and beautiful acoustic guitar playing. More recently the stripped down approach has been replaced with a full band, and musicians equal to the task of creating Beam’s wondrous sound. It’s hard not to get drawn into the pictures Iron and Wine evokes on their records, I know some who say it’s even hard to listen knowing the bitter sweet feeling these recordings can have. It’s imperative to grasp that emotion by allowing it to pass right by with the clouds up above, so you can see the brighter side of Iron and Wine.
Around the Well is a good place for new listeners to start, and equally a nice release for loyal fans, and even collectors. The beginning of the collection(disc 1) is a mix of older tunes, and the quality of recordings make it easy to distinguish between disc 2, which takes off into more diverse sounds, and even has a spark of experimental influence. That’s the beauty of Disc 2; it delves deeper into the Shepherds Dog approach. That album marked a significant shift for Sam Beam, and the extra tunes on Around the Well (Disc 2), treats listeners to more of that direction.
Iron and Wine is arguably one of the best bands in the last 10 years to come on the scene, but more importantly the music on Around the Well, and any previous release, can be appreciated by more then just “the heads” of Indie Rock. Their music has an old timey quality to it, and as their discography has progressed into the sounds of different times, most notably Shepherds dog having a sixties and seventies rock undertone, Sam Beam reminds us that although their sound is expanding, the roots of their music will always come from the subtlety of acoustic guitars and hushed harmonies. Around the Well is a reminder of where they have come from, and were they’re going.
- Ryan Boos, September 22, 2009
Buy: Iron & Wine, Around The Well