The Desert Island Top 10 - Iron & Wine

To use an apt cliche, writing this Desert Island 10 is like shooting fish in a barrel.* It's almost unfair. But press on, I must. It's cathartic and inspiring, listening to these gems buried in my music playlist. It's easy as a blogger/music lover to simply get submerged in a wash of "new" music, ears clogged by all the listening, the random song downloads, the one-and-done songs I hear every day. Every once in awhile, I think we need to return to the heart of why we love the things we love. I only love the things I love today because I loved the things of yesterday. This collection of 10 is the foundation of now.

Iron & Wine -Our Endless Numbered Days

I'm not afraid to admit that I slept on this record for almost eight months after its release. For that matter, I slept on Iron & Wine in general until that point, missing his splashdown of a debut album The Creek Drank the Cradle as well. I'm not ashamed to admit that it took a movie to bring this to the front of my vision. In Good Company came out in theaters January of 2005, a bittersweet (disarmingly realistic) "romantic" dramedy. No happy endings here, just the stark reality of both interpersonal and familial relationships, set to a gorgeous soundtrack featuring three poignant tracks from Sam Beam (two of which are the best known from Days).

I had heard of Iron and Wine, and had heard "Jesus, the Mexican Boy" (which I was not impressed with at the time, nor am I very fond of now), but these tracks hit me like a backhand across tear-stained cheeks. Unlike Creek, this album is without the hiss of a homemade demo, leaving only a beauty that sounds, with eyes closed, like it's a serenade penned solely for you. "Fever Dream" and "Sodom, South Georgia" are back-to-back near the end of this record, a combination so emotionally devastating (love and loss) that it's hard to believe the legality of that decision. Beginning to end, this is the dream of a journey. This is laying in the grass under clouds and stars, contemplating the meaning of everything important in this world.

Fever Dream
Sodom, South Georgia
[from Our Endless Numbered Days|buy]

*As proven by Adam and Jamie on Mythbusters, shooting fish in a barrel is, indeed, as easy as we're led to believe.


Blogger Wes Hartline said...

So far, two of your Desert Top 10 are on mine. Let's see where this goes.

This album is amazing. Naked as we Came might be my favorite from this album for its vocals and beautiful guitar play. While his other albums are fantastic, if I had to pick one it would be this one.

3:14 PM  

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