Coming full circle for balladeer Sam Beam

FILE - This March 14, 2013, file photo shows Sam Beam, of Iron & Wine, during the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Beam has returned both to the Sub Pop label where his career started and the warm, acoustic sound of his early material. His sixth album "Beast Epic" comes out Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP, File)

Sam Beam, the songwriter behind Iron & Wine, returns to Sub Pop records and the intimate ballads of his youth

NEW YORK — Songwriter Sam Beam prefers to think of his career direction less as looking back and more as going full circle.

The man who records under the stage name Iron & Wine has made a disc that hearkens back to the lovely acoustic style of his early music, and returns him to the Sub Pop label where he made his start. But he said he couldn't have done it without exploring other sounds and styles over the past decade.

The album "Beast Epic" is out Friday and much anticipated in the indie rock world. Many dates in his fall theater tour are already sold out.

Beam said the disc is about people who persevere despite getting knocked around in life.

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