Every so often a song comes along and stops you in your tracks. Something so beautifully perfect it traps you for the first hour after you first hear it, demanding repeated plays from a listener snared in catatonic bliss, like the aural equivalent of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.
For me in recent years I’m talking Cat Power’s ‘The Greatest’, Explosions In The Sky’s ‘First Breath After Coma’ – and Beirut’s ‘Nantes’.
An amazing track that pulled me into the world of Beirut, it opened an astonishing second album, one so good it attracted the attention of French filmmakers La Blogotheque who made a video for every track.
Check out the piece for ‘Nantes’, which sees band lynchpin Zach Condon walking down some spiral stairs singing the track live and picking up band members as he goes, here. It’s amazing.
So anyway the good news in Beirut are back, with a double EP. The first – ‘March Of The Zapotec’ – is much more the Beirut we know and love, mournful Eastern European romps and stomps peppered with trumpet fanfares and rattled snares. The second, ‘Holland’, was recorded under the name Realpeople (one of Zach Condon’s pre-Beirut pseudonyms) and sees them go dance. Yes really.
As if learning the French horn and euphonium for the second album wasn’t enough, Condon’s fully immersed himself in hazy electronica and on the whole it works really well. Let me know what you think.