Iron & Wine Announce Unearthed Album Recorded Before Their Debut: Hear “Calm On The Valley”

Iron & Wine Announce Unearthed Album Recorded Before Their Debut: Hear “Calm On The Valley”

In 2002, before beardy indie-folk became a cliché, Sam Beam broke out in a big way with The Creek Drank The Cradle, his debut album as Iron & Wine. It’s not like those hushed lo-fi home recordings were the first songs Beam ever recorded, though. Today he has announced an unearthed album recorded in the late ’90s, when he was a student at Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts.

Archive Series Volume No.5: Tallahassee is, as you might surmise, part of Beam’s ongoing Archive Series, which he’s activating for the first time since 2017. He recorded these Tallahassee tracks in 1998 and 1999, when he was just getting started as a singer-songwriter. Supposedly Beam had mostly forgotten about the recordings, but his former roommate and Iron & Wine bandmate EJ Holowicki preserved them and prepared them for release. He also was the one who encouraged Beam to record these songs in the first place. Holowicki later became a sound designer at Lucasfilm’s sound mixing division Skywalker Sound, so I guess consider Tallahassee an official prequel to the Iron & Wine saga.

A press release explains, “Early music file-sharers have long claimed ownership of a number of early Iron & Wine recordings, many that still have yet to be officially released. While this record will not quite correct all the wrongs of the early days of the internet, it will fill in many of the blanks for long-time fans.” Our first taste of the project is “Calm On The Valley,” which you can hear below.

01 “Why Hate The Winter”
02 “This Solemn Day”
03 “Loaning Me Secrets”
04 “John’s Glass Eye”
05 “Calm On The Valley”
06 “Ex-Lover Lucy Jones”
07 “Elizabeth”
08 “Show Him The Ground”
09 “Straight And Tall”
10 “Cold Town”
11 “Valentine”

Archive Series Volume No.5: Tallahassee is out 5/7 on Sub Pop. Pre-order it here.

Lorraine Portman

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