If you’ve heard the Balkan-influenced, horn-heavy dirges of Beirut’s 3 full length albums or 5 EP’s (including a split with desert-noir pioneers Calexico), then the vast emptiness of New Mexico is probably the last place you’d think they’d hail from. A native Santa Fe-an, Zach Condon launched the band in his late teens and has spent the greater part of the last decade gathering sounds and cultural icons from places like Oaxaca, Mexico, the French countryside, and the Balkan peninsula. With Beirut’s stunning library of recordings, he artfully condenses each region’s rich history into groundbreaking albums that earn acclaim from the furthest reaches of the world.
We’ve been huge fans of Beirut ever since the 2006 release of Gulag Orkestar, and 2011’s The Rip Tide doesn’t disappoint! It maintains the familiar auditory aesthetic of the band while turning deeply personal rather than global. Fans in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and the UK will have the chance to catch the 2012 tour, and our fingers are crossed for future US dates!
If you haven’t checked them out, do yourself a favor and snag one of their albums. Or snag them all. Really, it’s a win-win, so sit back, press play, and immerse yourself in complete radicalosity.