Watch video for “Call It Dreaming” directed by J. Austin Wilson + Find 2017 North American Tour Dates
The well of our pride runneth over as we are finally able to announce: Iron & Wine will release Beast Epic - his first new material in over four years - and it will be available worldwide through Sub Pop beginning August 25th. (!) The longplayer features eleven new compositions that share a kinship with his earlier material.
Iron & Wine’s principal songwriter, Sam Beam had a few words to say about the album:
“I must confess that I’ve always shied away from album introductions citing the usual “dancing to architecture” cop out. Speaking to their own work is uncomfortable for many artists, but I’ve made a new album called Beast Epic which is important to me and I wanted to take a moment to talk about why. I’ve been releasing music for about fifteen years now and I feel very blessed to have put out five other full lengths, many EPs and singles, a few collaborations with people much more talented than myself, and made contributions to numerous movie scores and soundtracks. This is my sixth collection of new Iron & Wine material and I’m happy to say that it’s my fourth for Sub Pop Records.
It’s a warm and serendipitous time to be reuniting with my Seattle friends because I feel there’s a certain kinship between this new collection of songs and my earliest material, which Sub Pop was kind enough to release. In hindsight, both The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002) and Our Endless Numbered Days (2004) epitomize a reflective and confessional songwriting style (although done with my own ferocious commitment to understatement, of course.) I have been and always will be fascinated by the way time asserts itself on our bodies and our hearts. The ferris wheel keeps spinning and we’re constantly approaching, leaving or returning to something totally unexpected or startlingly familiar. The rite of passage is an image I’ve returned to often because I feel we’re all constantly in some stage of transition. Beast Epic is saturated with this idea but in a different way simply because each time I return to the theme I’ve collected new experiences to draw from. Where the older songs painted a picture of youth moving wide-eyed into adulthood’s violent pleasures and disappointments, this collection speaks to the beauty and pain of growing up after you’ve already grown up. For me, that experience has been more generous in its gifts and darker in its tragedies.
The sound of Beast Epic harks back to previous work, in a way, as well. By employing the old discipline of recording everything live and doing minimal overdubbing, I feel like it wears both its achievements and its imperfections on its sleeve. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different genres, sonics and songwriting styles and all that traveled distance is evident in the feel and the arrangements here, but the muscles seemed to have relaxed and been allowed to effortlessly do what they do best.
I’ve been fortunate to get to play with some very talented musicians over the years who are both uniquely intuitive and also expressive in exciting ways. This group was no different. We spent about two weeks recording and mixing but mostly laughing at The Loft in Chicago.
To be honest, I’ve named this record BEAST EPIC mostly because it sounds really fucking cool! However, with that said and perhaps to be completely honest, “a story where animals talk and act like people” sounds like the perfect description for the life of any of us. If not that, then it’s at least perfect for any group of songs I’ve ever tried to make. I hope you enjoy it.”
Beast Epic was written and produced by Sam Beam. It was recorded and engineered by Tom Schick at the Loft in Chicago in July 2016 and January 2017, and mastered by Richard Dodd in Nashville, Tennessee. The musicians who played on the album include longtime Iron & Wine collaborators Rob Burger (keys), Joe Adamik (percussion), and Jim Becker (guitar, banjo, violin, mandolin), along with bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing and Fiona Apple), and Chicagoan Teddy Rankin Parker (cello).
Beast Epic is now available for preorder from Sub Pop [here], Iron & Wine’s official webstore, and select independent retailers … in the following formats:
A Deluxe 2xLP version on red & blue vinyl with alternate artwork, two bonus tracks from the Beast Epic recording sessions along with three home recorded demos and an etching on side D.
Iron & Wine will tour in support of Beast Epic, beginning with his annual Midwives Benefit show in Austin, Texas on July 22nd. An extensive U.S. tour begins with a two night stand in Chicago (October 12th/13th) and ends with a two night stand in New York (November 13th/14th). European dates will follow in early 2018. A special fan pre-sale begins June 8 at 10am (local time), with tickets on sale to general public on June 15th at 10am (local time).
Tour Dates + Ticket Links
Summer 2017 Jun. 28 - Portsmouth, NH - Prescott Park Arts Festival (Solo) Jun. 29 - Canadiagua, NY - CMAC (Solo) @ Jul. 22 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theater ^ Aug. 26 - Fayetteville, AR - Roots Festival Aug. 27 - Columbia, MO - The Blue Note % Aug. 28 - Chattanooga, TN - Tivoli Theatre % Aug. 29 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn % Aug. 30 - Louisville, KY - WFPK on the Waterfront
Fall 2017 Oct. 12 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall Oct. 13 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall Oct. 14 - St Paul,MN - Palace Theatre Oct. 15 - Lincoln, NE - Rococo Theatre # Oct. 17 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theater # Oct. 18 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theater Oct. 19 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theater # Oct. 20 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater Oct. 21 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre Oct. 26 - Los Angeles, CA - The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Oct. 27 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy & Harriet’s Oct. 28 - San Diego, CA - - Balboa # Oct. 29 - Phoenix, AZ - Van Buren # Oct. 30 - Albuquerque, NM - El Rey # Nov. 01 - Dallas, TX - The Kessler # Nov. 02 - San Antonio, TX - The Aztec Theater # Nov. 03 - Houston, TX - The Heights # Nov. 04 - New Orleans, LA - Joy Theater # Nov. 06 - Ft Lauderdale, FL - Culture Room# Nov. 07 - Orlando, FL - The Beacham # Nov. 09 - Washington DC - Lincoln Theatre # Nov. 10 - New Haven, CT - College Street Music Hall # Nov. 11 - Boston, MA - Berklee Performance Center # Nov. 12 - Northampton, MA - Calvin Theatre # Nov. 13 - New York, NY - Town Hall # Nov. 14 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Steel*
@ support for Jason Isbell ^ w/Joan Shelley % w/Lydia Loveless # w/John Moreland * w/OHMME
Listen to the Season 2 trailer, and subscribe now!
Mere months after its unforeseeably really, pretty great first season earlier this year, and in response to largely precedented levels of demand for more, the Sub Pop Podcast will return for a 10-episode second season on Wednesday, October 12th. Season Two of the Sub Pop Podcast will run weekly from October 12th through December 14th and will be available through all finer podcast distribution points.
Produced and hosted by real-life Sub Pop employees Alissa Atkins and Arwen Nicks at the label’s Seattle headquarters, the Sub Pop Podcast, of course, is where you can hear stories from inside, outside, and adjacent to Sub Pop, Seattle’s premier medium-sized record label. We focus on conversations with our artists, people who work at/with/around Sub Pop, and anyone else willing or reckless enough to talk to us. And same goes for our sibling label Hardly Art. We will continue to include, impose on, sponge off, and otherwise implicate them, as well.
In its conspicuously excellent debut season, from January 10th of this year, through to April 1st, we managed to produce and then release 11 (which, for some reason, we called 10 ½…) episodes of Sub Pop’s very first podcast. And then, between April 1 and now, we put out an additional two, interstitial, summer episodes in an effort to sustain the arguably ravenous interest of our dozens upon dozens of regular listeners. We spoke with principal members of Band of Horses, Mass Gothic, Chastity Belt, Mudhoney, Shearwater, S, King Tuff, and a whole bunch more. And, we were recognized with an Honorable Mention in the Seattle Weekly’s 2016 Readers’ Poll for local, music-based podcasts which currently exist! This sort of intoxicating recognition has us gunning for at least second runner-up next year. The entirety of this first season, and our summer episodes remain available everywhere now.
In the upcoming second season, unrelated to any outstanding debts or lost bets, we managed to convince an impressive array of folks to talk with us. Here we are referring to such celebrated figures from the wide world of entertainment as: Alex and Victoria from Beach House, Sam Beam from Iron and Wine, Tad from TAD, Benjamin Gibbard from both Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service, Kathleen Hanna, Father John Misty, Jonah Ray, members of CSS and Clipping, our boss and benefactor Jonathan Poneman (More than once! He’s the boss!), plus, reliably, “more.” We also took the Sub Pop Podcast on the road, with trips to both Poland and Portland, and down to the Sub Pop store at Sea-Tac Airport.
In the spirit of tell and show, you can listen to a trailer for the Sub Pop Podcast, Season Two (and, again, every previous episode) at subpop.fm RIGHT NOW. If you like what you hear, you can subscribe (in iTunes or anything) right now, too. The first episode of the new season will be available Wednesday, October 12, and new episodes will be delivered weekly until December 14, 2016.
SO! Visit subpop.fm to listen to the new trailer for the second season, subscribe to the podcast, and sign up for the podcast mailing list. Send us your thoughts and feelings here: email@example.com.
The Sub Pop Podcast: Absolutely nothing sounds better.
Beam says of ‘Milky Way”: “It was the first song we started working on together and it’s my very favorite melody of the bunch.”
[Photo Credit: Josh Wool]
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop will embark on a European tour in support of Love Letter For Fire and the new single which begins August 28th in Edinburgh, UK with an appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival and ends September 11th in Amsterdam, NL at De Duif. (Dates below.)
The duo recently visited NPR Music to perform a Tiny Desk Concert including Love Letter For Fire tracks “Sailor To Siren,” “Every Songbird Says,” and “Know The Wild That Wants You.” [watch here].
Love Letter for Fire is currently available on CD / LP / DL / CASS worldwide from Sub Pop/Black Cricket Recording Co. [link here].
Aug. 28 - Edinburgh, UK - The Hub, Edinburgh International Festival Aug. 29 - Bangor, UK - Marine Court Hotel, Open House Festival Aug. 30 - Dublin, Ireland - Olympia Theatre Aug. 31 - Manchester, UK - Royal Northern College of Music Sep. 01 - London, UK - Union Chapel Sep. 03 - Salisbury, Larmer Tree Gardens, UK - End of the Road Festival Sep. 04 - Birmingham, UK - Moseley Folk Festival Sep. 07 - Berlin, DE - Passionskirche Sep. 08 - Cologne, DE - Kulturkirche Sep. 09 - Brussels, BE - Botanique-Orangerie Sep. 10 - Groningen, NL - Take Root Festival Sep. 11 - Amsterdam, NL - De Duif
We’re thrilled to announce that Sub Pop will release Love Letter For Fire, a collaborative effort from Sam Beam (of Iron and Wine) and Jesca Hoop, worldwide this coming April 15th. The thirteen-track album features the singles “Every Songbird Says” (listen now via YouTube or Soundcloud) and “Valley Clouds,” and was written throughout 2014. Love Letter for Fire features Beam and Hoop on vocals and guitar along with Robert Burger (keys), Eyvind Kang (violin, viola), Glenn Kotche (drums, percussion), Sebastian Steinberg (bass) and Edward Rankin-Parker (cello).
Love Letter For Fire was produced, recorded and mixed by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, Decemberists, Neko Case) at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland, and mastered by Richard Dodd in Nashville. The album also features a cover photo by Sam Beam.
Love Letter For Firewill be available on CD / LP / DL / CASS, and is available for preorder now. LP preorders through megamart.subpop.com will receive the limited Loser edition on Smoke-colored vinyl (while supplies last, so don’t sleep!).
More on Love Letter For Fire:
Love Letter for Fire is the name of the collaborative record from songwriters Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) and Jesca Hoop. A collection of songs steeped in the tradition of the male/female duet where love – in its many forms - takes center stage.
Contemplating a duets album for some time, Beam was never able to find the right voice - until Hoop’s music found its way to his stereo. Diving into her catalog on iTunes one afternoon, specifically the album Kismet, was the spark Sam needed to reach out to Jesca and propose the idea of writing together.
The timing could not have been better for Beam: “I was looking to work with another songwriter because I had never shared the songwriting responsibility with anyone. I really enjoyed her music and it’s different than mine which is what excited me about the project.”
Hoop at the time was finishing her fourth record and had never co-written either. However she notes, “I had the advantage of knowing Sam’s music because it had cleaned my house many times, so I was familiar with his sensibilities and knew the combination could work.” Her memory though of “Sam’s pitch” for making the record occurred once they connected in person and Beam “threw [the idea] under his breath, like ‘If we ever write songs together.’ I think he said ‘Let’s make an EP’ and I said ‘Let’s make an album.’”
The inspiration behind Love Letter For Fire was Sam’s love of classic duets, most of which are ones he grew up hearing on the radio. “Some of my favorite songs are duets, because the narrative is expanded. It’s not just a monologue. It’s a conversation, and so it gets complicated. I had melodies over the years that I’d been compiling that I thought, this sounds like a classic Kenny and Dolly, ‘Islands in the Stream’ kind of thing, or George and Tammy”. While the record itself is not Countrypolitan in nature, the two have carved out something that feels wholly original and should have no trouble appealing to fans of their previous work.
Over the course of thirteen songs Love Letter for Fire brims with a joyful energy, contrasting Beam and Hoop’s songwriting styles yet never feeling forced, nor pandering. Veering from disparate pop (“Every Songbird Says” / “Chalk It Up To Chi”) to introspective folk (“One Way to Pray” / “Soft Place to Land”) to a few things in between (“Welcome to Feeling” / “Midas Tongue”), the record never rests solely on just the two voices but rather showcases the new chapter of songwriting each found in the collaboration. Beam notes: “(Jesca) brought a lot of energy and a lot of heart in places where I would be cerebral, she would bring heart. In places where I would be steady, she would add an exclamation point.”
Recorded in Portland, Oregon with the steady hand of Tucker Martine, the album features a collection of handpicked musicians. The band includes Rob Burger, a frequent Iron & Wine contributor, Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple), Teddy Rankin-Parker (Primus), Eyvind Kang (Decemberists/Tzadik and Ipecac labels) and Glenn Kotche (Wilco). This particular set of musicians had never worked together, but quickly found themselves on equal footing. For Beam it was a bit of a dream team: “It was a really funband, and a lot less guitar than I usually have on my [Iron & Wine] records. Tucker and the band were able to help bring out what’s inside of you that you might not know is there.”
The album’s title comes from the song, “We Two Are A Moon“ and the irony of the title and record of love songs by two folks not in love is not lost on its creators. The idea of love in song and life is a constant and universal denominator that everyone relates to. Hoop describes love and the songs succinctly: “Each song has its own heat, its own trajectory.” The album title represents a kind of “ephemeral love that passes through” and then it’s gone. Beam on the other hand insists the title plays on itself in that “is it a love letter for fire? Or is it a love letter ready to be wasted?” and leaves it up to the listener to come to their own conclusions (read more at Sub Pop).
Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop have scheduled a North American tour in support Love Letter For Fire, which begins Tuesday, May 17th in Ann Arbor, MI at The Ark and ends Saturday, June 11th in Chicago, IL at Thalia Hall. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, February 19th.
Tour Dates May 17 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark* May 18 - Toronto, ON - The Danforth Music Hall* May 20 - New York, NY - The Town Hall* May 21 - Washington, DC - The Lincoln Theatre* May 22 - Boston, MA - The Wilbur Theatre* May 24 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer* May 26 - Atlanta, GA - The Buckhead Theatre* May 27 - New Orleans, LA - The Civic Theatre* May 28 - Dallas, TX - The Kessler Theater* May 30 - Tucson, AZ - The Rialto Theatre* May 31 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre* Jun. 02 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall* Jun. 03 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater* Jun. 04 - Seattle, WA - Neptune Theatre* Jun. 05 - Boise, ID - The Egyptian Theatre* Jun. 07 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater* Jun. 08 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown* Jun. 09 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater* Jun. 10 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom* Jun. 11 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall* * w/ Marlon Williams
While it’s been almost 8 years since Sub Pop released The Shepherd’s Dog, the last record that we worked with Iron & Wine on, we remain huge admirers of the work of Sam Beam. With the release of ArchiveSeries Vol. No. 1, we decided to compile a playlist that we’re calling “A Beginner’s Guide to Iron & Wine” to introduce/reacquaint fans to the evocative and beautiful sound of I&W.
Can you believe it? We certainly can’t, but it’s true, Iron & Wine’s game-changing debut record, The Creek Drank The Cradle, came out ten years ago today, and to celebrate, we’re offering it to you on CD, LP, or MP3 for just $8 for the next two weeks.