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Iron & Wine returns with new music, Pabst Theater show set for June

A man with a long beard plays acoustic guitar on stage with a slight smile on his face.
Iron & Wine; Facebook

We’re a little more than a month into 2024, and it’s already become the year of ending hiatuses.

Earlier this week, the 88Nine playlist added the lead single off Camera Obscura’s upcoming album — their first in more than a decade. Then, just yesterday, The Decemberists announced a tour that includes a stop at the Riverside Theater, as well as their first new song in six years. Now, Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam joins the fun by sharing the news of his first full-length since 2017 and a companion tour that will visit the Pabst Theater on June 14.

By the time that show rolls around, fans will have had seven weeks to ruminate on the new Iron & Wine album, Light Verse, which comes out April 26. A press release that went along with the news about the upcoming LP noted:

Beam’s lyrics once again draw on a series of fictional and personal insights, filled with desperate characters and wide-eyed optimists, offering promise and a dose of heartache, tears and laughter, life and love. It’s also Iron & Wine’s most playful record, with its title reflecting how the songs were born with joy after the heaviness and anxiety of the pandemic. Where Beast Epic and Weed Garden gave air to the disquiet of middle-aged frailty and brokenness, Light Verse’s songs trade that for the focus acceptance can bring. Moment by moment, they delight in being pointed or silly (or both) and attempt beauty over prettiness.

If you need proof, look no further than lead single “You Never Know.” Doubling as the first on the album, the song piles on beautiful elements in its first half — gentle finger-picking, soft percussion, bassy strings and Beam’s familiar voice drifting over the top. From there, things get more emphatic as the track barrels toward its finish.

You can hear the long-awaited new music below and take advantage of your first chance to pick up tickets during the eMember presale happening online at noon this Thursday, Feb. 8 (password: BLIZZARD). The general sale follows at 10 a.m. Friday online or at the Pabst/Riverside box offices.