Iron & Wine, “Tree By the River”
Where I heard it: brain radio
Why it’s awesome:
1. It seems like pure nostalgia at first - a man reminiscing with a girl he loved as a teenager (“Mary Ann, do you remember the tree by the river when we were seventeen?”) - but there is a dark undertone that I didn’t pick up the first several times I heard it. I mean, he and his family are sleeping in a car, right? It manages to be heartfelt and heartbreaking at the same time.
2. I never do a “best songs of the year” list because there are just too many songs to sort through, but this would be right at the top, along with a few others I’ll post over the next few days.
3. As a bonus, check out this Tiny Desk concert, where Sam does this song (along with a few others) and talks about why it took him nearly ten years to write it. “Tree By the River” starts around 9:40, but the whole set is worth checking out: