Iron & Wine: “Tree By The River”
Sam Beam says there’s a perfectly logical reason his latest record, Kiss Each Other Clean, sounds like a complete departure from the signature hushed vocal sound he established on his 2001 debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle. “We try to have fun when we go into the studio,” Beam told KUT’s Jay Trachtenberg during an exclusive performance last January, “it’s fun now to embrace the differences – play it big sometimes, play it quiet sometimes, but see how far you can stretch a song, see how elastic it is.”
Beam records under the moniker Iron & Wine and he says his first recordings were done in his spare time and he did what he could with what he had. He also said the lyrical content of the early songs were appropriate to the intimate, sparse setting. They were love songs.
“Tree By The River” shows how far Beam has come both lyrically and musically since those first bedroom recordings. In this live version captured at KUT, Beam is alone in the studio, just his guitar and his voice. As a result, the song is inherently stripped down and powerfully bare, tapping into his past but also showing off his present and future as a songwriter.
Austin fans will get a chance to see the full Iron & Wine experience at this year’s ACL Fest, where the band will be performing Saturday, September 17 on the AMD Stage at 4 PM.