House By the Sea
Label: Sub Pop Records
Picture an eccentric street fete filled with bhangra belly dancers, tribal percussionists and string virtuosos; a gala of jovial opuses, Simon and Garfunkel folk and seductive cascades of banjos, keyboards and clapping hands. Wait, there's more. Jam sessions with accordions, slide guitar, piano, synths, shakers, harmonica... get the idea? The Shepherd's Dog is complex, yes, but the beguiling lo-fi mellowness that is Iron and Wine's core is still intact. The melancholy and mystique in Sam Beam's lullaby croons are never overpowered. This is a global affair worth checking out.