In the fast-moving 21st century, rarely does soft and slow music find a strong fanbase, but somehow Austin’s Sam Beam continues to grip audiences with his subtle style and strong songwriting. Since 2002, Beam’s released three albums, one collaborative effort with Calexico, and a bunch of singles and EPs, yet, there’s still more. That’s what this double-disc album brings; the first CD a more ponderously quiet-than-usual collection of his raw, unedited home recordings, and the second picks up the pace a little, featuring previously unreleased studio recordings, including duets with friends and backing musicians. It may not be the best entry portal into Iron & Wine’s world, but it’s a must-buy for obsessive Beam-ers, and makes for inconspicuous listening no matter where you’re sitting.


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