Bird Stealing Bread
Label: Sub Pop Records
We don't know how he does it, but Samuel Beam, the man they call Iron and Wine, somehow managed on his first album (culled from lo-fi tapes) to take the experience of lying in the grass in the country at twilight, listening to crickets and looking at the stars just creeping out of bed for the evening, and turn it into sound! Sure, he can and does draw from the repertoire of Nick Drake, another dusky cricket kind of guy. But Beam's aural country air, crafted out of hushed acoustic instruments and his own rock-a-bye voice, is so tangible you can almost smell the soft sweetness of the grass.