Monday, September 03, 2007

Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog

In comparison to their/his previous work, the new Iron & Wine LP 'The Shepherd's Dog' is quite the behemoth. I didn't think much of Sam Beam's first LP, finding its sequel Our Endless Numbered Days rather enjoyable in places but still being a little too hookless. Annoyingly although I wanted to love it, it too often felt like background music. Thankfully the new one is a real sea change. Far more of an ensemble piece, it really feels like a live record, and what an ensemble it is. I'm not sure whether the lineup has changed for this record, but at times it takes on the loose, technical feel of the best of The Grateful Dead's country tinged records. Elsewhere i'm reminded of the stunning ethereal folk-rock workouts of Espers, or even the complex and yet catchy revival of musical forms practised by Comets On Fire. Compared to the last record there's just so much more depth, so many levels to the sound and so much more to enjoy on almost every level. Here's a few songs for you to check out. Make sure you turn them up loud. There are Iron & Wine dates throughout the UK coming up soon, and the records out on Sub Pop around the end of September. Enjoy!

Iron & Wine - White Tooth Man
Iron & Wine - House By The Sea


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