When Zach Condon dropped out of college in 2006, he returned to what he'd been doing for years: writing and recording music in his home in New Mexico. Thus, "Gulag Orkestar", Beirut's 2006 album known for its wonderful old-European weirdness, including a nostalgia for an era of organ pumps and trumpets, was born. The album sparked something of a meteoric rise for the young artist. Condon's success was built not upon signing with a major label or playing hundreds of tiny shows, but by word of mouth online. His popularity spread like wildfire in the online indie community and when he finally played his first show, it was not in Santa Fe, where he lived, but in the UK to celebrate the official release of "Gulag Orkestar". In the five years since "Gulag Orkestar", Condon has released five EPs and two other albums, including his newest album, "The Rip Tide". He's also expanded the band to include six members, fleshing out Beirut's sound both on stage and off.
"The Rip Tide" was recorded in New York during the winter of 2010, under Condon's own label. For fans of Beirut's earlier sound, the new album takes a surprise turn toward more mainstream indie rock-pop rather than the band's signature heavy Euro influences. Condon reflected in an interview with the New York Times that he wanted to focus on "piano, ukulele and trumpet..." as opposed to his previous musical stylings, which he described as, "picking up new instruments once a month."
Beirut currently has a slew of shows lined up throughout this fall and winter, with stops in New York, Philadelphia, Australia, Japan, and Austin.
Artist/SONG NAME/ALBUM NAME
PORT OF CALL
Recent Release: The Rip Tide
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Label: Pompeii Records