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Alternative & Indie - Released October 8, 2007 | Pompeii Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With Zach Condon, everything's unlikely. Or rather, everything's unique. What storyteller, no matter how imaginative, how hallucinatory, could have invented such a character, an American, raised on Balkan music, deformed country-folk, luxuriant pop and great French chanson? The compositions of the Beirut leader have the allure of mini-operas, not drinking songs for sailors or Red Star hooligans... So while the "Romany brass band" gimmick and its cortège of clichés might drive one to drink at best, or at worst, to imagine oneself in a Kusturica film, on the The Flying Club Cup it adorns songs which have more in common with the Magnetic Fields, Divine Comedy or Rufus Wainwright than Goran Bregovic... On the tracks of this second album from October 2017, the French influence is still clear: Nantes, Cherbourg, Un dernier verre (pour la route), La Banlieue and Cliquot are all nods at a France that so fascinated this American, who was then aged 21. But not just that. There are floods of fando, outbreaks of tango, visceral passages, melodies that are closer to the soul than to the earth. And Beirut covers the whole earth. All of it. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 1, 2019 | 4AD

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Zach Condon quickly realized that he wasn’t always going to be able to wander through the subway carriages with his brass band. That even his hardcore fans would eventually grow tired of him and stop handing him their spare change... On his 2015 album No No No, the brain behind Beirut beautifully transformed his experience in the Balkan folk/Mexican scene into brilliant high-flying pop tracks. He sculpted a more artisanal sound and renewed himself while keeping the dreamy, magical singularity of his universe that’s dominated by brass and percussion. Condon is a true citizen of the world: he was born in Albuquerque, lives in Berlin and writes in New York as well as in Puglia, Italy. It is there that one finds Gallipoli, a coastal city that lends its name to this fifth album. Condon has a voice that’s characterised by a wistful lyricism, giving his songs an undeniably melancholic feel. Sat behind his Farfisa organ or his Korg synthesizer, and surrounded by Nick Petree on drums, Paul Collins on bass, Ben Lanz on trombone and Kyle Resnick on trumpet, Condon builds his songs like Russian dolls. There’s a playful side which is largely amplified by the Farfisa. And through his world music and lo-fi melodies, Gallipoli covers the entire range of everything that Beirut has generated in just over ten years. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 11, 2015 | 4AD

After four years of silence, Zach Condon puts the wheels in motion once again for his Beirut project. This time, the multi-instrumentalist delivers another slice of immaculate, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink pop in the form of his new record: No No No. On this, Beirut’s fourth album, the American continues to transform his knowledge of Hispanic folklore into his own, highly distinctive, high-flying pop. Condon pushes the template forward in a few areas, though, putting some of Beirut’s winsome folksiness on hold in favour of ramshackle, raucous mischief. Renewal is, indeed, a major concern of the record, and on No No No Condon manages to renew himself, and his music, while still maintaining the magical singularity of his musical universe. Brass and percussion are still (happily) dominant. A cheap joke, but one that is too hard to resist: we say ‘Yes Yes Yes’ to No No No! © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 6, 2006 | Pompeii Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 1, 2019 | 4AD

The fifth full-length by Zach Condon's Beirut, Gallipoli is a sequel of sorts to 2015's No No No in that it returns co-producer Gabe Wax and employs similar instrumentation, including Condon's Farfisa organ. An instrument that he acquired at his first job at a community art space in his hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico, it had been left behind by a (literal) traveling circus and ended up serving as the main writing tool for Condon's first two Beirut albums. With that free-spirited background in mind as well as the fact that Wax has acted as recording engineer for bands like The War on Drugs and Fleet Foxes, where Gallipoli differs from its predecessor is in its level of vibrancy. In a statement about the album, Condon explained that they made an effort to channel performances through a series of amplifiers, PA systems, and tape machines, hoping to capture sounds like mechanical buzzing, creaking instruments, and off-pitch tones. It's hardly to lo-fi effect, however, with Condon's warm quaver and bevy of brass instruments, acoustic and electric guitars, electronic and acoustic drums, accordion, and mix of pianos, organs, and synthesizers including modular synths gathered under a production ethos that dials up already colorful arrangements to Technicolor spectacle. "Landscape," for example, layers persistent organ eighth notes, tight vocal harmonies, syncopated bass, and clattering and rumbling percussion and drum tones, all with a sustained force that sounds more symphonic than the components seem they should. The song is otherwise quite breezy, with an elongated vocal melody arching over all the accompaniment like a sun-speckled rainbow. Inspired by a brass band procession Condon witnessed in the coastal city of Gallipoli, Italy, the reflective title track opens with melodic, mechanical glitch and a studio-manufactured brass-and-drums band. Featuring Condon on multi-tracked trumpet and vocal harmonies, it, too, has a larger-than-life sound despite its more restrained emotional tone. The songwriter probably summarizes it best on "Varieties of Exile": "Every word sounds like a siren." ~ Marcy Donelson
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 30, 2011 | Pompeii Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 12, 2006 | Pompeii Records

Beirut's five-song EP LON GISLAND works as a nice stop-gap for those anxious for the next full-length from wunderkind songwriter Zach Condon. Condon's penchant for unique instrumentation and world-music accents (particularly klezmer and Balkan brass) is in full flourish on this brief 2007 release, as best revealed on the rousing instrumental "My Family's Role in the World Revolution" and the gorgeous reworking of GULAG ORKESTAR's "Scenic World"--which gets fleshed out with the requisite accordions, ukuleles, and mournful brass, recasting the song as a bittersweet death march. Condon, indisputably, has talent and vision; that he can pack as much of it into five songs as he does here is staggering.
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 17, 2009 | Pompeii Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2007 | Pompeii Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 7, 2011 | Pompeii Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 24, 2007 | Pompeii Records

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Rap - Released June 10, 2011 | Al Massiva

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