M&T Best Tracks of 2011: #3

#3. Iron & Wine- “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me”

Although Sam Beam and Iron & Wine’s path from whispery acoustic melodies to full-blown 10-piece band was a bit less marked than that of Justin Vernon and Bon Iver, it is still quite incredible to hear the difference between 2002’s The Creek Drank The Cradle and 2011’s Kiss Each Other Clean.

The best example of this transformation is the album’s closing track (and also the closer to Iron & Wine’s incredible Bonnaroo 2011 set), “Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me.” The song begins as a spry jazz inspired trip highlighted by vocal harmonies and a shrill saxophone line. About two and a half minutes in, the quick pace of the song halts and from then on Beam repeats variations based on the song’s chorus, “Become the weeds, we will become/Become the sea, we will become.” This vocal repetition is layered over a swelling wave of sound that slowly builds into a psychedelic trance over the song’s final four minutes.

The variations on the chorus which Beam repeats over and over, range from the idyllic (Become the river sway/We will become, become) the philosophical (Become both right and wrong/We will become, become) to the strange and seemingly out of place (Become an ice cream cone/We will become, become).

For all of its aural nuances and enigmatic lyrics, “Fake Name” turns into one of the slow-burners of the year. Much like Bon Iver’s “Beth/Rest”, this is the song where you, “Pick up your joint and re-light it.”

Posted on by Eric in Best of 2011

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