Beirut: Indie Rock Voyage

Each week, Magnifier offers exclusive interviews and free tracks from our favorite artists. All the music on Magnifier can be added to your Music Beta library for free.

Beirut’s Zach Condon found fame when he was still a teenager with the release of Gulag Orkestar. The set combined elements such as acoustic indie rock, Eastern European folk music and French chanson into a fresh and original sound that was surprisingly timeless. Since then, Condon has continued to add to Beirut’s repertoire, utilizing whatever intoxicating sounds brew inside his head: partnering with Mexican folk musicians was followed by a return to old high school electronic recordings and concert collaborations with full orchestras.

"East Harlem" Beirut

"Santa Fe" Beirut

When Magnifier caught up with the preternaturally talented Condon, the Beirut frontman proved he’s one of those rare artists who an acute understanding of every element of music. In the interview, Condon talks about going from high school jazz trumpeter to indie rock visionary with a slavish cult following in Brazil, to playing every instrument under the sun.

Known for matching album projects with geography, Beirut’s latest release The Rip Tide seems to be built around the concept of coming home. Without an exciting travel yarn to pin on the latest project, Beirut prove they’re just a unique band who play Condon’s sublime songs beautifully. The single “East Harlem” marries a melancholy, yet catchy, melody with a “so close yet so far” lyric about romantic separation--an arrangement illustrating the band’s ability to fall somewhere between a group of regal street musicians and a slightly mad symphony. The crowd-pleaser “Santa Fe” pays homage to Condon’s hometown, boasting a relentless, hand clapping rhythmic pull plus a host of acoustic instruments blended to sound like synths--or perhaps Beirut are reminding us that computer music actually sounds like old accordions and horns. -- Nick Dedina.

"East Harlem" Beirut

"Santa Fe" Beirut

12 comments:

Marius said...

I so want to see him live. However our local tickets' prices seem to be unreasonably high. I think scalpers (or Ticketmaster) is at work here.

Grrr...

Jason Odoom said...

Love their sound, loved both of their free tracks. Awesome pick.

Jacky said...

Thanks for making me discover this awesome band!!! I love those 2 free tracks especially East Harlem! I’m gonna buy The Rip Tide as soon as I get a chance!

ARizon4being said...

Meh!

TPW said...

Santa Fe is amazing, my new favourite song no doubt. I wasn't all that keen on East Harlem at first but it sounded much better hearing it again after listening to Santa Fe. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

Anonymous said...

no kick, no compelling melody, simple rhythms.

Will Witt said...

Fantastic band to see live!

Belinda Brouette said...

Loves!

Ben said...

Added :) Awesome music! Very unique

Brent said...

Hmm. It's more of the same old, same old, really. Still, they were awesome live.

isra said...

Love this band :) thanks for share it!

Troy Ohlsson said...

Really love Beirut, been a fan for quite some time. Thank you.

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