The stigma of the term “singer songwriter” is very well deserved, and I know the music scene is flooded with them. (90% of which are difficult to consume). But as a music lover and someone who truly appreciates the talent it takes to produce it, I hate that I instantly write off singer songwriters without ever even giving them a chance. It’s like hearing the term “commitment” for most guys in relationships, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Now that I have all of you women rolling your eyes and uttering “pssshhh typical”, let me introduce you to Samuel Beam, better known as Iron & Wine. This singer-songwriter has been around for almost a decade now with his first album “The Creek Drank The Cradle” being released in 2002 by none other than my favourite record label SubPop. Iron & Wine really made his mark when he covered “Such Great Heights” a track made famous by The Postal Service. The interesting thing is that Samuel covered this track before it was even released on The Postal Service’s “Give Up”. Both artists were on Subpop together and the track was originally going to be released as a B-side on Iron & Wine’s debut album. His version was used in the Indie film Garden State and has been the catalyst that drives his popularity. I must admit I’m a little late in the game and just recently discovered Samuel, but I haven’t been able to stop listening to the featured track “Love Vigilantes”. For as tough as all of us men would like to view ourselves, we all have those tracks that kind of hit a little harder on our sensitive side. “Love Vigilantes” is about a soldier who’s so excited to get home to see his wife and family. It takes you on his journey home and plays on the anticipation of that moment where he will finally get to see their faces. Only to find that when he arrives home his journey had been in a casket, he was coming home to be buried not to be with his family.
“When I walked through the door my wife she lay upon the floor
And with tears her eyes did soar, I did not know why
Then I looked into her hand and I saw the telegram.
Said that I was a brave, brave man, but that I was dead”
Hopefully this track will make you think about your loved ones for a moment and appreciate how precious your life is because of the people in it.