Iron & Wine
Lo-fi tapes of hushed acoustic indie rock go together with Miami like (tanning) oil and (salt) water, spring break and sobriety, Florida governor Jeb Bush and a problem-free day at the polls. See, what we're saying is they seem kind of incongruous. But Mr. Samuel Beam, aka Iron & Wine, was living in Miami crafting just such beguiling home recordings when Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop "discovered" him via an indie magazine in Seattle. The mesmerized Poneman contacted Beam and hounded him for music until Beam finally mailed him two full-length CDs. Sub Pop almost released both right off the bat, but instead pared them down into Iron & Wine's debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle, released in 2002. A hi-fi studio recording (2004's Our Endless Numbered Days) and a few EPs (including 2005's In the Rein, a joint effort with Calexico) followed. For 2007's The Shepherd's Dog, Beam beefed up the musicianship, filling songs with eccentric worldly nuances. He then moved from Sub Pop to Warner for 2011's robust Kiss Each Other Clean.