Iron & Wine’s “Beast Epic” (Aug. 2017)

Sam Beam stitched together a great new album

“Where we see enough to follow / We can hear when we are hollow / Where we keep the light we’re given / We can lose and call it winning”

Sam Beam is an extraordinary singer songwriter. He always has been, but on Beast Epic he shines through. He returns to his humble roots, and reminds us that the Iron & Wine we’ve all grown to love is still there. He returns after 5 years with Beast Epic, and it’s nothing like Ghost to Ghost. It’s the Iron & Wine that made music that was humble and warm and rich.

When I first heard this album, I hated it. I thought it was bland, and that every song sounded the same, but after listening to it a few more times my view on it changed. This is the Iron & Wine I grew up listening to. He was my gateway to singer songwriter/folk.

The thing about Beast Epic is that it isn’t a festival headliner type of album. It’s not an album to gather a new audience. It’s a genuine album for old and new fans. After all these years Sam picks up his acoustic and delivers a meaningful performance. He’s been making music for 15 years, and this album shows the gradual uphill climb. It shows the maturity of an artist.

The tracks on this album that I loved were “Claim Your Ghost”, “Bitter Truth”, and “Call It Dreaming”. They felt personal. It felt like Sam Beam was reminiscing on his life and telling the listener about it. “Bitter Truth” is the perfect example. It’s so emotional and so vulnerable. It leaves you thinking back on your own life, your wins, your losses. He talks about life in such a wise way, and that’s why I realized that I was wrong about calling it a bland album. It’s quite the opposite. This isn’t his best album, but it’s definitely up there.

Sam really comes full circle with this album, and that’s why this album is so captivating. He perfected his craft and it shows in full on Beast Epic. So wrap yourself in a warm blanket, grab a cup of your favorite warm beverage, and enjoy this gorgeous album.

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