Beirut

Biography

While it may sound like an entire Balkan orchestra playing modern songs as mournful ballads and upbeat marches, Beirut's first album, Gulag Orkestar, is largely the work of one 19-year-old Albuquerque native, Zach Condon, and was almost completely recorded at home. Horns, violins, cellos, ukuleles, mandolins, glockenspiels, drums, tambourines, congas, organs, pianos, clarinets and accordions (no guitars on this album!) all build and break the melodies under Condon's deep-voiced crooner vocals, swaying to the Eastern European beats that sound like they're being brought to you by a 12-member ensemble.

Condon was a straight-A student until he dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to travel Europe in a drunken haze, cavorting and partying with the locals wherever he ended up. It was during one of these evenings that he was first exposed to Balkan gypsy music (notably including the Boban Markovic Orchestra), blasting from the upstairs apartment. Condon went upstairs to see what exactly he was hearing, and ended up staying up all night with the Serbian artists, going through albums country by country, note for note. The Gulag Orkestar is the direct result of what he learned that night.

Most of the tracks on Gulag Orkestar were recorded on Pro Tools while skipping school in Albuquerque, but this past winter, Condon moved to Brooklyn and booked time at Sea Side Studios in Park Slope. He was joined by Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost of A Hawk and A Hacksaw, who added percussion over what was originally done with drum machines, and some beautiful violin overlays. The resulting record sounds like a Neutral Milk Hotel from behind The Iron Curtain, a glorious and emotional sweep of music both shocking in its emotional content as well as the astounding logistical feat of this having all been pulled off.

Read More

Beirut - Vagabond

27th February 2012 -

 Video

Beirut's new single, Vagabond, is the latest to be taken from their successful third studio album, The Rip Tide, which was released in August 2011 through Pompeii Records. The band has announced an European tour,...

Beirut - Santa Fe

21st September 2011 -

 Video

Beirut's new single 'Santa Fe' is taken from their third studio album 'The Rip Tide', which was released in August 2011 on Pompeii Records and is available to download from the band's website.The video for...

Beirut - The Flying Club Cup

15th October 2007 -

 Review

Beirut The Flying Club Cup Album Review Beirut's Gulag Orkestar was one of 2006's best albums - a debut full of promise and mould-breaking folk rock that drew from hundreds of years of Balkan folk,...

Beirut - The Flying Club Cup

1st October 2007 -

 Review

BeirutThe Flying Club CupAlbum Review Like The Arcade Fire before them, Beirut are one of those special bands. Essentially the vision of 21 year old, Zach Condon, they create music utterly unlike anything...

Beirut - Elephant Gun

9th July 2007 -

 Review

Beirut Elephant Gun Single Review Now this is an odd one, and no mistake. A lad from New Mexico who makes solo records but performs with a ten-piece band. Apparently he met a bunch of...

Beirut, Elephant Gun, Video Stream

30th May 2007 -

 Video

Beirut Elephant Gun Video The fantastic, Beirut release a new single, Elephant Gun on June 25th 2007. The single is taken from 2006's critically acclaimed album Gulag Orkestar which has become a genuine cult phenomenon,...

Beirut - Gulag Orkestar

5th June 2006 -

 Review

BeirutGulag OrkestarBa Da Bing Album ReviewThe Neutral Milk Hotel album In the Airplane Over The Sea is one of the all-time classics of intelligent anti-rock, and that band never followed it up. NMH's Jeremy Barnes,...

Back to top

Beirut Images

More Beirut Pictures

Back to top

Beirut Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Beirut

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Sam Smith Announced As Performer At The 2014 MTV VMAs

British singer Sam Smith will soon be heading to the biggest gig of his life as he...

Sam Smith Announced As Performer At The 2014 MTV VMAs

David Letterman Opens Up About Longtime Friend Robin Williams' Suicide

David Letterman is no different to the many celebrities and stars who knew Robin...

David Letterman Opens Up About Longtime Friend Robin Williams' Suicide

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Confirms He Will Star In DC Comics' 'Shazam'

It was only a matter of time before Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson would star in...

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Confirms He Will Star In DC Comics' 'Shazam'

Taylor Swift Releases New Single, Music Video, And Album Details

Taylor Swift continues to move away from her country music roots at a rate of...

Taylor Swift Releases New Single, Music Video, And Album Details

Unlikely Pairings - When Comedians And Musicians Come Together

Following surprising reports that Las Vegas rockers The Killers invited British comedian...

Unlikely Pairings - When Comedians And Musicians Come Together

Benedict Cumberbatch To Star In Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book: Origins'

Warner Bros. steams ahead with its planned The Jungle Book: Origins movie by...

Benedict Cumberbatch To Star In Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book: Origins'
Advertisement

DiCaprio, Johansson, Laurie: A Sneak Peak At Celebrity Auditions

TV and film superstars often don’t seem like real people. They live on a screen in...

DiCaprio, Johansson, Laurie: A Sneak Peak At Celebrity Auditions

Reviews Round-Up: Smokey Robinson's Collaboration Album 'Smokey & Friends'

Soul and R&B legend Smokey Robinson releases a new album this week entitled...

Reviews Round-Up: Smokey Robinson's Collaboration Album 'Smokey & Friends'

Filming Of Next 'Resident Evil' Movie Postponed Due To Milla Jovovich's Pregnancy

The filming of the sixth instalment of the Resident Evil film franchise has...

Filming Of Next 'Resident Evil' Movie Postponed Due To Milla Jovovich's Pregnancy


More recommendations

Comments