Sadly, I’m guessing most of you missed Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop’s 7-song, mini-headlining, set from downstairs at World Café Live this past Thursday, as part of this year’s sold-out NonCOMM convention… Apparently it was quite something… Well, fortunately, for the rest of us (Yes, I was absent as well.), the newly formed duo is returning to Philadelphia next Tuesday, May 24th, to play a full-on, full-length headlining show at Union Transfer…

Last month Sam Beam (better known as “Iron & Wine”) and (slightly under-acknowledged genius singer/songwriter) Jesca Hoop released collaborative LP Love Letter For Fire, courtesy of Sub Pop, which was largely inspired by the history of male/female duets in the folk tradition.  The album balances the somber with the jubilant, while using our concept of love (at its best and at its worst) as its constant theme.  Portions of the album sound quite sassily Victorian (“Chalk It Up To Chi”), portions are popularly introspective and uplifting (“Every Songbird Says”), and portions are classically romantic and artfully charming (“Kiss Me Quick”).  While it is the theme, as opposed to the tone, of the record that ties the songs together, the somewhat hopeful songs are never naively optimistic enough to be considered cheesy, and the somewhat downtrodden tracks are generally subtly cheeky enough to not crush any spirits.

For a love-consumed couple… who are not an actual couple… Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop would seem to have a palpably profound connection that seems able to inspire equally profound ponderings of perhaps history’s most abstract concept among audiences.  And while their show at World Café Live seemed to be relatively stripped and minimal, their show last night at Town Hall in NYC looked like quite the pre-modern, very “lamp-y” (You’ll see what I mean…), spectacle that could make for the perfect evening inside of a dark, cavernous club and train station of yesteryear.

*Feeling nostalgic?  Read my 2012 chat with Jesca, previewing the release of her third LP, The House That Jack Built.