Iron and Wine
The Shepherd's Dog
Fans might not initially like Sam Beam’s full band arrangements on The Shepherd’s Dog, but the sound’s been emerging since the Woman King EP and Calexico collaboration revealed layers to Beam’s songwriting beyond his earliest stripped folk simplicity. Except for “White Tooth Man,” with cues from Tusk-era Fleetwood Mac, and “Peace Beneath the City,” a jammin’ beat, organ and sitar against distant echoed vocals, the melodies and poetic lyrics are never lost. “Resurrection Fern” is more familiar in its exquisite tranquility, but near-danceable “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car” proves Beam isn’t content to rest on past success.