BLOWING the dust off some buried aural treasure, Sub Pop have announced a little treat for fans of Sam Beam’s Iron & Wine: the label has brought to light a set of recordings dating back to the late Nineties, a time when Sam was attending Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts – and a full three years or so before The Creek Drank the Cradle really launched that whisper-quiet early incarnation of Iron & Wine on the world.
The new set of old recordings it to be entitled Archive Series Volume No.5: Tallahassee Recordings, and will be out on pretty much every format you desire – cassette, splatter vinyl – on May 7th.
The eleven songs collected are culled from a number of recordings that had been (mostly) forgotten by Sam himself; but which had been archived by former roommate and one-time member of Iron & Wine himself, EJ Holowicki.
Holowicki, who went on to work as a sound designer, made sure Sam documented these songs while the two roommates in a student house in Tallahassee. He engineered these early recordings, played bass – and has now overseen their cleaning up for release.
Tallahassee captures Sam’s project at a formative stage. Check the early Neil Young Americana of “Calm On The Valley” below – a voice and a vibe at once so downhome, Sam-familiar and yet so different.
Early Iron & Wine fragments have abounded in fandom and file-sharing for years; this Tallahassee collection goes some way to restoring these early years to the proper canon.
Iron & Wine’s Archive Series Volume No.5: Tallahassee Recordings will be released by Sub Pop on May 7th, digitally, on CD, cassette, trad black and limited ‘loser’ marbled vinyl; you can place your order now over at the Sub Pop webstore.