Samuel Beam (aka Iron & Wine, his moniker since his 2002 debut) isn’t an average singer/ songwriter, and not just because his grasp of imagery and melody is well above the curve. The relatively recent Texas transplant’s talents expand past composition and into the realm of innovation, into the headphone-friendly rush of voices and idiosyncratic instrumentation layered atop each other. Beats and sub-melodies rise, surge and disappear like the dreamscape buildings and bridges in Inception, with Beam’s voice flexible enough to keep up and sturdy enough to not be overwhelmed (his commitment to his lyrics is clear in the care he takes making sure every word remains intelligible). It wasn’t always like this — Beam’s earliest work was bare-bones but affectingly acoustic — but I&W gradually transcended the folkie label and now sounds uniquely at home amidst the spooky swirl of wooden whistles on “Rabbit Will Run,” the subtle clavinet and sax funk of “Big Burned Hand” or the trippy keyboard waves of “Walking Far From Home.” Most songwriters are chasing Bob Dylan or Townes Van Zandt on some level or another, trying to achieve such depth, wit and mystique; Beam most likely is too, but he’s also chasing Brian Wilson and Phil Spector while he’s at it. “I still have a prayer/so be it I’ve done what I’ve done,” Beam sings, and every aspiring songwriter (or studio aficionado) should be so lucky.