Iron & Wine

Kiss Each Other Clean

For most artists, reinvention is not a one-shot deal, but a gradual and painstaking process—and one that’s rarely met with open arms. Lucky for us, then, that Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam is not most artists. For his fourth studio album, the lyrically titled Kiss Each Other Clean, Beam all but abandons his whispered speak-sing and plinking arrangements, exchanging them (rather successfully) for pointed, pop-minded vocals, warm organ tones, and a whole lot of electric guitar. Stylistically, Clean can be linked back to the radio-friendly stuff of Beam’s childhood. But one listen through and it’s easy to realize this is something far bigger than homage. On “Half Moon,” ambitious vocal arrangements give way to a beautiful hybrid of folk and doo-wop. “Run Rabbit Run” is a meticulous blending of African percussion, grinding guitar noodlings, and Beam’s so-immediate-it-hurts lyricism. Meanwhile, “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough for Me” jumps headfirst into full-band territory and creates seven minutes of jazzy experimentalism unlike anything Beam’s previously attempted.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.