Iron and Wine, The Shepherd's Dog

I just wanted to put in a good word for this new release. If you haven't heard the Woman King EP (also recommended), the sound may come as a surprise--his most layered and quirky instrumentation, a bit Sufjan-Stevens-esque--but the album is distinctly his own and terrific. A few tracks mask his quiet voice in vocal effects, but by and large the production is as immediate and intimate as on Our Endless Numbered Days. It's worth buying the vinyl, which also comes with a coupon for free MP3s of the album (okay, so it's MP3, but it's a nice gesture).

Incidentally, I wish more labels would do what Nonesuch did with Wilco's Sky Blue Sky and include a CD of the album with the LP.
Second the recommendation. Have really been enjoying it the last couple of weeks....
Triple up on the recommendation.

The other record Mr. Beam put out with Calexico backing him is also quite good--"In The Reins" from 2005. The vinyl EP has excellent sound, and mine is a nice, quiet pressing.

I like Sam Beam's guitar playing and his singing--not to mention that, lyrically, his songs are unusually mature and well-realized--but I have to say that his records, when recorded solo, can be a bit, umm, snoozeworthy. But the collaboration with Calexico yields extraordinary results. Let's hope they keep it up.
Fantastic album...but I'm expecting that from the bearded wonder. The album he did with Calexico is pretty decent as well. Not as many know about that one.
Some good contributions from Becker of Califone also on this Beam album.