CD reviews: Iron and Wine

Sam Beam has entered his 40s in fine style, returning to the stripped-back folk on which his primary musical vehicle, Iron and Wine, first began turning heads more than 15 years ago.

Unlike his early efforts, this is no lo-fi effort, even if it does convey a  homespun vibe by way of an array of  acoustic instruments and a voice that is the aural equivalent of a cosy sleeping bag.

As strong as 2007 standout The Shepherd’s Dog, this sixth studio album (not counting various side projects) features more than a few songs that show off Beam’s compositional flair, including Last Night, which is built on a bed of plucked violins, double bass and Tom Waits-ish glockenspiel.

• Iron and Wine. Beast Epic. Sub Pop. 

• Four and a half stars (out of five)

Single download: Call It Dreaming
For those who like: Bon Iver, A.A. Bondy

— Shane Gilchrist

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