Iron & Wine - Walking Far From Home
Tom Reed 16/12/2010
Sam Beam's last album as Iron & Wine, 2007's The Shepherd's Dog, marked him out as much more than just a folk singer with a guitar. That album wrapped abstract, epic lyrics around a varied musical backdrop that took in elements of Americana, R'n'B and even reggae to elevate their rustic feel to something greater. But on this first cut from new LP Kiss Each Other Clean, Beam has truly excelled himself.
You can listen to this song a couple of ways. Firstly you can be caught up by the swirling, synth-heavy carpet of sound that Beam lays his words on, with elements of dub reggae, ghostly harmonies and a climax that sends the listener into a blissful, weightless state. Or you can be stunned by the images Beam conjures with his lyrics - “I saw blood and a bit of it was mine, I saw children in a river, but their lips were still dry, lips were still dry”.
However you choose to listen to this track, its hard not to be utterly blown away by the quality of Beam's writing, each verse (there are no choruses) sounding like a mantra being beamed down from on high. I have a sneaky suspicion that Kiss Each Other Clean is going to be one of the albums of 2011.