Singer-songwriter heavyweight Sam Beam (know mostly as Iron & Wine) has released another collaborative work, titled Love Letter for Fire. After 2015’s joint effort with Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell, Beam has teamed up with singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop, who is known for her experimentation with different genres. The result is a record of imaginative and heartfelt acoustic indie-folk that is both lively and melancholy.
Their unique perspectives as composers compliment each other well. Musically, Beam’s jazzier tendencies are on display alongside Hoop’s experimental indie side. They find common ground with their inherent passion for both classic and modern folk music, offering floating arrangements with fingerpicked acoustic guitars and soft strings. Both singers posses a tender and soothing voice that gently cradles their poetic lyricism.
Every composition is raw and rustic, featuring sparse percussion, complimentary violin and ornamental piano as add-ons to the predominant base of guitar and vocals. Tracks like “One Way to Pray” and “Valley Clouds” showcase the meandering classic folk that inspire both songwriters so greatly. “Chalk It Up to Chi” is the delightful oddity that we’d expect from Hoop, while “Kiss Me Quick” is textbook hushed folk from Beam. Lead single “Every Songbird Says” is beautiful in its simplicity, with music that dances lightly around the two singer’s conversational tone.
The partnership of Sub Pop label mates Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop proves to be a successful collaboration. Their voices blend perfectly together, as well as their individual influences and inclinations. Like the album title suggests, Love Letter for Fire is an ode to everything that makes our internal flame flicker. The record is a lovely addition to each of their discographies, and should delight fans of both songwriters.