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Album Review: Iron & Wine Celebrates 15 Musical Years In “Beast Epic”

Life is like a ferris wheel. We rise to new spaces only to come down to old ones anew. It is crazy to see how time takes us from what we know to return us to it with an unfamiliarity. Suddenly, we have changed so much that what we once knew becomes different to us. This concept guzzles like fine wine throughout Iron & Wine’s album, Beast Epic.

Sam Beam wrote every song of Beast Epic as a letter to Time. Now, 15 years into his career and on his sixth album, he has reached a creative/ spiritual space where he is looking back to find how to look forward. Hence, tracks like, “The Truest Stars We Know” and “About A Bruise” will sound like demos from the beginning of his career rather than a new single. For Beam, as an artist, a song’s arrangement is like architecture; you build your soul into the structure and try to bridge a strong foundation with a refined finish. Hence, songs such as, “Right For Sky”, “Call It Dreaming”, and “Bitter Truth” are constructed to be reflective of Beam’s moods and defining of yours. The thing that I love about Beast Epic is that each song creates an ambiance, which goes along with his “architecture” mind-frame. You cannot help but feel curious and explorative of your lover in “Last Night” or romantic and dreamily serene as you listen to Beam’s loving lyrics in “Song In Stone”. Beam has a voice that sounds like pebbles bouncing over a creek. As his acoustics lightly ripple in clarity, his voice skids along its rejuvenating melodies. To have a voice as clear as water is a true blessing, and makes Beast Epic, oddly, feel like the opposite of the album’s title. If anything, the album is tranquil in its visionary soundscapes, which could be seen as epic, in a way. Nothing like the calm of a “beast” to make you analyze if it has beauty. Still, what makes Beast Epic a poignant record is its odes to time.

In tracks like, “Claim Your Ghost”, “Summer Clouds”, and “Our Light Miles”, Iron & Wine shows that time is only meter/ measure for your “forever”. From love to hope, it seems the artist sees human spirit/ virtue as a timeless entity that “time” oddly elaborates for its eternity. As guitar chords wind and whine, you want to prance into the sweet sentimentality of his songs, which feel written by a man matching nostalgia for his past triumphs with excitement for his future ones. When you have done so much for yourself and dreams, you have to continuously re spark and refreshen your life, ambition, and appreciation for everything. On August 25, Beast Epic is Iron & Wine’s musical way of doing so. For More Information Click Here.