On Iron & Wine's 2017 album, Beast Epic, Sam Beam took a conscious step back. Not only is he recording for Sub Pop again, he's stripped away most of the high production values, backing vocalists, horn sections, and orchestras that were all over his more recent work like spangles on an old denim jacket. This record was done with a small group, recorded relatively simply, and often recorded live as well. Beam and his cohorts take a less-is-more approach to colouring in his suitably autumnal melodies, and get a sound that compares favourably with the classic Our Endless Numbered Days LP. It's a more seasoned, more confident and expansive version of that album for sure, as the years have given Beam a richer tapestry of life experiences to draw from. His musical ideas are also more mature, and though the arrangements are simpler, they are still full of little tricks and sticky hooks.