Zach Condon of Beirut
In last week’s edition of Hoopla, I admitted that actress Natalie Portman is one of my celebrity crushes. While there are many reasons I like Natalie, one of the most important is that she has great taste in music. A couple years ago, I read an interview with Portman where she said her favorite band of the moment was Beirut. I hadn’t heard of Beirut. So I gave them a listen.
Needless to say, I was impressed. Beirut now is one of my favorite bands. But who are they? Beirut is led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon, a kid in his early 20s who’s pretty much a musical prodigy. Beirut sounds a lot like an old-time gypsy orchestra, with plenty of horns, accordion, ukelele and acoustic guitar. It’s all topped by Condon’s deep voice and gorgeous melodies.
This week, Beirut releases a new double-EP, titled “March of the Zapotec/Holland.” The first half, “March of the Zapotec,” finds Condon performing with a 19-piece orchestra from Oaxaca, Mexico. The second half, “Holland,” is just Condon singing over electronic beats.
I haven’t heard much of “March of the Zapotec/Holland” yet, but I’m very familiar with Beirut’s previous work. I recommend the group’s second album, 2007’s “The Flying Club Cup,” and the “Lon Gisland” EP from the same year. Below is the video for the song “Elephant Gun” from the “Lon Gisland” EP. It’s my favorite Beirut song.
Thanks, Natalie. If you ever want to get together and talk music, that would be greeeaaat.
“Elephant Gun” by Beirut
Also check out Beirut’s Myspace page.
What do you think? Was Natalie on the right track?