Iron and Wine makes its Nonesuch Records debut with Ghost on Ghost, the fifth release from singer-songwriter Sam Beam under that pen name. The album was recorded in Brooklyn and produced by Beam’s longtime associate Brian Deck. "Every song feels lived in, and radiates palpable warmth," says American Songwriter; they "sound absolutely sublime." Uncut too calls it "sublime ... a work of immense beauty and scale." The AP says: "Ghost on Ghost is a wonderfully produced and assembled record, propelled with joyous momentum even on tracks with darker lyrics ... With each successive album, Beam has been able to gradually expand and layer his sound with taste and dexterity."
Iron and Wine makes its Nonesuch Records debut with Ghost on Ghost in the US on April 16, 2013 (April 15 on 4AD in Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand). Ghost on Ghost is the fifth release from singer-songwriter Sam Beam, using the pen name Iron and Wine. The album was produced by Beam’s longtime associate Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Califone, Fruit Bats) and follows 2011’s Kiss Each Other Clean, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard chart to critical acclaim.
Rolling Stone said of Kiss Each Other Clean that “pop music hadn’t seen anything like it since the heyday of Cat Stevens,” while Pitchfork said it “more closely resembles the lush, gold-toned singer songwriter records of the late 60s and early 70s—Astral Weeks, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”
For Ghost on Ghost, Beam sought to move from what he called the “anxious tension” of his two previous records. “This record felt like a reward to myself after the way I went about making the last few,” he says.
Helping achieve Beam’s vision was a group of stellar musicians including Rob Burger, Steve Bernstein, Brian Blade, Curtis Fowlkes, Tony Garnier, Marika Hughes, Briggan Kraus, Maxim Moston, Tony Scherr, Doug Wieselman, Kenny Wolleson, and Anja Wood. Burger (Tin Hat Trio) has worked with Beam intermittently through the years and handled arrangements for strings and horns on Ghost on Ghost. For the album’s cover, Beam, who is also a visual artist, chose an image from the series “Private Views” by noted photographer Barbara Crane.
The first three Iron and Wine albums, released on Sub Pop, were The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002), Our Endless Numbered Days (2004), and The Shepherd’s Dog (2007).
Produced by Brian Deck
Arrangements and Musical Direction by Rob Burger
Engineer: Neil Strauch
Assistant Engineer: Don Piper
Mastering Engineer: Richard Dodd
Art Direction & Design: The Heads of State & Sam Beam
Cover Photo by Barbara Crane
All songs written by Sam Beam
All songs published by Sam Beam Music, administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
This album is available from Nonesuch Records for the world outside of Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand
Sam Beam, vocals, guitars
Rob Burger, keyboards, jew's harp (4), hammered dulcimer (4), tubular bells (10)
Tony Garnier, electric & upright basses (1, 2, 4-7, 10, 12)
Tony Scherr, upright bass (3, 8, 9), guitar (3), ukulele bass (4)
Brian Blade, drums & percussion (1-7, 10-12)
Kenny Wollesen, drums & percussion (1, 3, 5, 7-9) bowed vibraphone (9)
Paul Niehaus, pedal steel guitar (2, 7, 9, 12)
Maxim Moston, violin
Hiroko Taguchi, Entcho Todorov, violin, viola
Anja Wood, Marika Hughes, cello
Steven Bernstein, trumpet, cornet, alto horn
Doug Wieselman, tenor & baritone saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet
Curtis Fowlkes, trombone
Briggan Krauss, baritone & alto saxophone
Josette Newsome, Carla Cook, background vocals