Walk far from home with Samuel Bean, better known as Iron & Wine, in his latest album Kiss Each Other Clean that was released in 2011. If you’ve listened to Iron & Wine in the past you know that he is very soft spoken, often using his guitar as his main instrument, and focused on a folk singer-songwriter style of writing.
This is all quite different in comparison to this new album, which pulls from electronic instruments and is much more upbeat, even reaching toward jazz and rock. It calls on Bean to sing with a larger range, making his voice sound more toward the forefront of his pieces in comparison to past recordings. He even has a background vocal section of women to dictate the song along with the instrumental melodies.
It’s amazing to see how far Bean has come with his music, being a bedroom musician who played guitar for ten years before a friend asked to record some of his songs on tape, leading him straight into a record deal. My favorite songs from this album include “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough,” “Walking Far from Home,” “Me and Lazarus,” and “Monkeys Uptown.” It think these songs are a great way to start listening to this album.
However, if you’ve never listened to Iron & Wine before, do not use this album as basis of your opinion on him. Listen to “Naked As We Came” from his album Our Endless Numbered Days before even trying to put a name with what you understand this artist to be. This is actually a rule of thumb we should apply to any musician. I suggested “Naked As We Came” because I’m almost certain you’ve heard this song before. It is one of his most popular pieces. So go listen to some music with your friends and enjoy the day!