Review by Sean Lynch
RIYL: Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens
Recommended Tracks: “Eden,” “Freckled Girl,” “Everyone’s Summer of 95”
Imagine you’re randomly looking around and you find a treasure chest full of unfound gems and hidden valuables. That treasure chest actually turns out to be Iron & Wine’s Archive Series Vol. 1 and these unfound gems and hidden valuables are the lost songs he put into his compilation. The album is full of unheard home demos, covers, and parts of live sets from his career thus far. Archive Series Vol. 1 has something different from his main studio album releases because it is natural and unedited. Archive Series Vol. 1 is 61 minutes worth of new material from Iron & Wine, and each song feels brand new.
“Eden” is one of the best songs off the album. The soft but unpolished vocals ride along with the gentle strumming of the guitar. The backing vocals add depth and character to the already soft vocals of Samuel Beam. The song has an extremely relaxing vibe to it because of the softness of the song, and it creates a mellow vibe.
“Freckled Girl” is another solid song off of Archive Series Vol. 1. The song is a little faster than some of the other songs on the album, but it still carries a mellowness found on other songs on Archive Series Vol. 1. There is also more pick action instead of the strumming found on many of the other songs. Some other songs you may enjoy off the album include “The Wind is Low,” “Judgement” and “Beyond The Fence.”
Archive Series Vol. 1 holds some of Iron & Wine’s best unheard material. The unpolished demos give you a real take on Iron & Wine’s music, and it gives it a soul as well as some character. If you are looking for folk music at it’s rawest form, then Archive Series Vol. 1 is the album for you.