'Ghost on Ghost' due April 16 via Nonesuch and 4AD
Technicolor production is no longer a novelty for Iron & Wine singer-songwriter Sam Beam, and his new songs are all the better for it. Ghost on Ghost, arriving on April 16 via Nonesuch and 4AD, is the fifth Iron & Wine full-length overall, but it's only the third since Beam expanded beyond acoustic-guitar intimacy with 2007's The Shepherd's Dog. "Lovers' Revolution," the first Ghost glimpse, confidently swings toward jazz, with horns by the Tin Hat Trio's Rob Burger. The second track to surface from the record, "Grace for Saints and Ramblers," keeps the brass and adds strings, but has the lyric-driven, bouncy folk-pop omnivorousness of Paul Simon circa Graceland or The Rhythm of the Saints. "It all came down to you and I," Beam murmurs. His grammar might be questionable. His role as bandleader isn't.
Listen to "Grace for Saints and Ramblers" below.