Iron & Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days

Iron & Wine
Our Endless Numbered Days
(Sub Pop)

Iron &Wine is the nom de chanson of Miami, Floridian, cinematography professor and unlikely indie sensation Sam Beam. His first full-length (The Creek Drank The Cradle) and subsequent EP from the same sessions (The Sea & the Rhythm) were both highly regarded exercises in enchanting, whispery home-recorded folk-pop minimalism. This time out, Beam worked at Engine Studios in Chicago and enlisted the help of a few friends (including sister Sara on backing vocals), but even with the contributions of a full band – albeit an impressively unobtrusive cadre of musicians – Beam might do well to christen this touring outfit Guided By Restraint. That’s no criticism, mind you. These quiet, delicate ruminations on life, love, mortality, and spirituality run the risk of seeming too precious, but they are so effectively moving and satisfying that it is difficult to not surrender to their literate (and delicate), if not beautifully flawed magnificence. Also included is a bonus disc featuring demos of “Cinder & Smoke” and “Free Until They Cut Me Down” as well as two additional tracks not included on the album proper, but just as mesmerising. I know we’re only a few months in, but Our Endless Numbered Days already has a secured spot in the running for one of the finest releases of the year.