Album review: Beirut
March Of The Zapotec/Holland
Facts about this album;
Zach Condon usually plays the trumpet or ukelele with Beirut, as a wrist injury makes playing the guitar painful and taxing
Zach Condon first fell in love with Balkan folk music, which dominated the first Beirut album, on a four-month trip to Paris at the age of 17.
When he was 15, Zach Condon recorded his first solo album, though under the name ‘Real People’ rather than Beirut.
Continuing his quest to eke out the oompah from every corner of the globe, the first half of this double EP sees Zach Condon looking to the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Assisted by a 19-piece funeral band,
his trademark woozy laments (“No
man ever could steal her heart…” – ‘La Llorona’) and waltzing rhythms are present, but buried beneath layers of tumbling horns they seem much richer, with the charming languor of his voice twisting the mariachi saunter into something dark. Strangely, it’s the synth-pop gems of second EP ‘Holland’ that seem the most foreign. The breezy sway of ‘Venice’ and the lovelorn chime of ‘The Concubine’ could be mistaken for lost Magnetic Fields demos. Tessa Harris