Iron & Wine: Weed Garden (Sub Pop)

Happy-go-lucky folk with a twisted edge

Released Aug 31st, 2018 via Sub Pop / By Emmie Harrison
Iron & Wine: Weed Garden (Sub Pop) With a Grammy award nomination under his guitar strap, you'd forgive South Carolina-born Iron & Wine for taking some much needed time off. Except, the singer-songwriter has barely taken a breath since the release of his hugely popular album, Beast Epic last year.

Instead, Sam Ervin Beam, the man responsible has spoiled fans with previously unreleased material on his latest EP Weed Garden. And with seven albums - coupled with seven EPs - to boast about, it seems like he has a trusty cult following to relish it.

From the offset, Weed Garden presents itself as summertime carousel indie-folk with openers What Hurts Most and Waves of Galveston. But halfway through the six-song EP, the happy-go-lucky folk teeters over into something murky and more human. With Last of Rock 'n’ Roll Heroes, we're fooled into believing this is another campfire acoustic when in fact it is a coming-of-age tune mourning a past life of forgotten friends blurred by booze.

Strangely, some songs feel out of place. Like the changing of the seasons, each song is so different. Like weeds, they don't belong. Which makes sense when you realise these are the cast-offs from Beast Epic. For reasons unknown, the songs went unfinished and unreleased. But numbers Milkweed and Talking to the Fog are certainly not to be dismissed, however. Simple but poignant, we’re soon back in the arms of the Iron & Wine we know and love.

Weed Garden is the perfect companion to last year’s Beast Epic. Though like pesky weeds, they don't quite belong with Iron & Wine’s renowned foliage - the EP is still a much-needed top-up for fans to tide over until the next epic. 6/10