As a voracious consumer of all kinds of music, I tend to be a serial genre and artist hopper. Although I love and appreciate all music and have an extensive list of “favorite” songs, there aren’t many tracks I come back to over and over again for many years. For nearly 10 years this has been one of those songs that has stood the test of time with me. Iron & Wine has to be one of the most influential nu-folk acts in the past decade, with good reason. However, it was Sam Beam’s 2005 collaboration with Tuscon’s Calexico, In the Reins, that i think produced some of their most enduring pieces. Beam’s forlorn vocals and lyricism perfectly complement Calexico’s Americana styled post-rock arrangements and the entire album has a depth and dynamism not always reflected in their respective projects.
And there is just something about this song. Perhaps its the muted horns woven throughout that give it such a hauntingly arresting impact. Maybe its those muffled harmonies and barely audible lyrics that get me. Regardless, this is one of those few tracks that will remain at the top of my playlists for the indefinite time to come.