Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ALBUM: For James

So here it is James - Beirut is on WIAC!

If you're unfamiliar, Beirut is the means by which 22-year old Zach Condon realizes his musical musings - an exploration of Balkan gypsy music and a sort of Euro-baroque pop, it sounds kind of like the soundtrack to some surreal Scandinavian circus (rather remarkable for a kid who hails from Santa Fe, New Mexico!). Their first album, Gulag Orkestar, was based primarily around compositions on Condon's ukulele (which happens to be his instrument of choice), while last year's release, The Flying Club Cup, explored a more eclectic sound. Of the album, Condon said,

"I was listening to a lot of Jacques Brel and French chanson music--pop songs shrouded in big, glorious, over-the-top arrangements and all this drama--and that was in some sense unfamiliar territory to me. So I started buying new instruments and relying on things I wasn't necessarily comfortable with, like French horns and euphoniums, carrying these big, epic big brass parts that I used to do all on trumpets, and working with accordion and organ instead of all ukulele--very much throwing myself in the world of classical pop music, I guess you could say".

So here's a taste. Aside from the diverse instrumentation, Condon is able to effuse so much emotion into the song, letting his rich vibrato ebb and flow with the music - making the whole song play like a rolling ship at sea, at points moving upward and triumphant, and at others sliding back down the way it came, letting all the sounds cascade over one another - creating one big beautiful ride for all of us onboard.

from the album The Flying Club Cup (Amazon/iTunes)


Britt said...

Yay for mentioning Beirut!

bbond said...

i love beirut. i swooned when i first heard them. along with explosions in the sky, they are one of my most favorite "unorthodx" instumentalist-sounding musics.

James said...

thank you mr. whale man and vielen dank. this is where it's at. no more needs to be said.

except...does anyone know anything of his touring? and why doesn't he come here?

Tobler said...

Here's some news on Beirut's touring situation:

There's actually a couple of us trying to make it out to the Sasquatch festival to see him and a few others in May....