Free Music on KEXP at SXSW: Iron and Wine Review

Being able to browse through the world of new and free music with incredible ease has been made possible by so many avenues on the internet. One of the great contenders who offers this great music service is Seattle-based radio station, KEXP Radio. Earlier this year, KEXP posted a performance by Iron and Wine who played at South by Southwest.

Samuel Beam, more commonly known by his stage name, Iron and Wine, is recognized for slow sad songs such as “Passing Afternoon” off his second album Our Endless Numbered Days, which was used on many television show soundtracks including House MD and Degrassi, The Next Generation. However, upon the opening of his half hour long set for South by South West, he starts with the upbeat song “Grace for Saints and Ramblers”. His lack of set list makes for a truly unique performance.

In many of Iron and Wine’s songs you can hear religious undertones that stem from the artist’s Christian upbringing. Some examples of these would be the opening song “Grace for Saints and Ramblers” and the song “Glad Man Singing”. While he has stated in interviews that he no longer follows that faith, you can still hear in his music that he has drawn inspiration for his music from it.

The stand-out song of the performance, for me, was the heavily poetic ballad “Lion’s Mane”. Even though he muddles some of the song and has to stop and restart, it is still a powerful performance. The lyrics reminded me of the writing style of Leonard Cohen in his use of language.
I would recommend Iron and Wine’s acoustic folk music to anyone who listens to Wakey!Wakey!, Bon Iver or Canadian artist, City and Colour.

Watch Iron and Wine’s SXSW performance on KEXP Radio here.
March 16, 2013