Usually, the collection of B-sides, unreleased tracks, and demos by an artist would be for fans only. In the case of Iron and Wine, you might well call this a proper album - these songs not only stand on their own, but as you listen over the span of the double-disc/triple-LP set, there is a cohesion of style (spare, acoustic) and substance that had also helped to define the earlier Iron and Wine catalog.
Below is the press release from Sub Pop:
IRON AND WINE - AROUND THE WELL
DOUBLE CD/TRIPLE LP (SP 808)
RELEASE DATE: MAY 19, 2009
Collecting songs ranging from out-of-print to never-before-released, Around the Well spans Iron and Wine’s earliest sessions which yielded the band’s debut (2002’s The Creek Drank the Cradle) through material recorded for 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog. The double-disc Around the Well collection is broken up into two sections. The first half is an assortment of hushed home recordings, unedited and raw, and the second highlights moments captured in the confines of proper studios with the help of other musicians, friends and engineers.
The album’s title comes from a line in the song “The Trapeze Swinger,” a fan favorite which was written for and included in the 2004 movie In Good Company. Three more songs written and recorded for the film finally make their appearance here as well: “Belated Promise Ring,” “God Made the Automobile” and “Homeward, These Shoes.” Around the Well also brings together hard-to-find covers such as The Flaming Lips’ “Waitin’ for a Superman” and New Order’s “Love Vigilantes,” along with one of Iron and Wine’s earliest originals, “Sacred Vision.” In support of Around the Well, this May Iron and Wine will perform ten intimate shows in five cities. In addition, Iron and Wine have begun work on the follow-up to The Shepherd’s Dog and plan to release a new album in spring, 2010.