Photo: Kim Black (Sub Pop)

Iron & Wine – “Call It Dreaming” (Singles Going Steady)

Iron & Wine writes songs for days and nights you'll remember long after they have faded into the past.

Morgan Y. Evans: Iron & Wine writes songs for days and nights you’ll remember long after they have faded into the past. One of the foremost real lyricists left out there, Sam Beam is also able to match it with beautiful, warm and rustic music that doesn’t come off as disingenuous or overly self-important while still feeling personal. He creates such lively musical postcards that most people can find a way into his songs, even as Beam avoids making them run of the mill. “Call It Dreaming” shows Iron & Wine is still the go to band for honest sentiment. [8/10]

Tristan Kneschke: Iron & Wine’s “Call It Dreaming” music video suggests a positive future for the looming self-driving car technology threatening to displace a tenth of the American workforce. Samuel Beam’s layers of acoustic guitars soothe as a battered truck travels the country’s pastoral outskirts. The passengers function as microcosms to the populous as a whole: Beam himself, a hiker, a bruised baby boomer, a lesbian couple, and a hipster with a suspiciously red hat. At a time when the country is more divided than ever, the truck barrels along the dusty side roads, collecting — and connecting — its wearied passengers. [7/10]

Mike Schiller: Oh, this is pretty. There’s not much to say about it, really, it has lovely melodies, the acoustic guitar strums pleasantly, there’s a slow build that never quiet gets past a gentle roar, and Sam Beam’s lyrics are gently poetic and well-suited to the music. It’s easy enough on the ears to make a run on Adult Contemporary radio, unlikely as that may be for a Sub Pop act. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: The double-tracked vocals create a lovely atmosphere, adding an extra layer to an already beautiful song. The acoustic guitar and organ keep things simple. Harsh critics may accuse Sam Beam of going a little too soft here — I can see this becoming a hipster wedding song — but there’s no denying that the song is gorgeous. [7/10]

Paul Carr: “Call It Dreaming” finds Sam Beam returning to his earlier live, acoustic roots on early albums such as The Creek Drank the Cradle and Our Endless Numbered Days. It is a relatively unadorned, straight acoustic number with only drums and the occasional swell of an organ in support. Happily, It sounds effortless and natural rather than a cowed retreat from the sonic experimentation of his later work. Similarly, the lyrics are simple and honest as Beam tries to define the experiences of middle age, after the seismic shift of growing up and before the creaking onset of old age. [8/10]

Ian Rushbury: If you were at a festival and Iron and Wine were playing at the festival, and they played this song, there is every possibility that you would have a Significant Life Moment. Hands in the air and dancing like your hips don’t hurt. If you’ve ever bought anything from the ’70s, released on the Island Records label, this might be your song of the year. The change to the bridge at 1:20 is gorgeous. A campfire classic in the making. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Warm summer music as Iron & Wine does it best, heavy with the scent of lake water and green grass. Made of sweet, simple acoustic sounds for lazy afternoons and firefly-lit evenings, “Call It Dreaming” is proof positive that less is more. [9/10]

Chris Thiessen: It’s an uplifting track. Sam Beam dreams of a world “where our hands hurt from healing” much like John Lennon decades ago. It’s a nice track, but that’s also its weakness. It’s just a nice track. [5/10]

Spyros Stasis: “Call It Dreaming” feels like a return of sorts for Iron & Wine. Following the releases of two collaborative albums, his upcoming record Beast Epic will feature Sam Beam on his own for the first time in four years, and judging by “Call It Dreaming” the result appears very promising. Aesthetically the track moves away from the dream pop and indie elements Kiss Each Other Clean and Ghost on Ghost, establishing a closer connection to the folk core, particularly Our Endless Numbered Days and The Shepherd’s Dog. It is a really enticing listen, establishing a similar road trip scenery as the fantastic video clip for the song, and hopefully, the new record will follow down the same path. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.44