Iron & Wine

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Much will be made of the fact that Iron & Wine's latest record for Sub Pop, Our Endless Numbered Days, was recorded in a real studio (Chicago's Engine Studios) with a real producer (Brian Deck, whose credits include Modest Mouse, Lois, the Sea and Cake, among others). But don't let that distract you from this beautiful album: At bottom, this is Sam Beam's shimmering bedroom gem. There may be more instrumentation, and the banjo strings may shine a little more, but it still sounds as if Beam is whispering his cinematic tales directly into your ear.

Our Endless Numbered Days is a very intimate record indeed, but Beam has also broadened his horizons significantly this time out. In addition to his trademark melancholy guitar numbers that evoke an Appalachian Nick Drake ("Naked As We Came") and his gorgeous lullabies ("Radio War"), there are also some boogying blues numbers, such as the good-time "Teeth in the Grass" and the haunting hanging song, "Free Until They Cut Me Down." And while nothing here will offend the ears of anyone who loved 2002's The Creek Drank the Cradle, Beam has proved that Iron & Wine is no one-trick pony. He's moving forward as an artist, and he's bringing his fans with him.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.