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Beirut

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One of 2006's most unexpected indie success stories, Beirut combines a wide variety of styles, from pre-rock/pop music and Eastern European Gypsy styles to the alternately plaintive and whimsical indie folk of the Decemberists to the lo-fi, homemade psychedelic experimentation of Neutral Milk Hotel. At the heart of this sonic hybrid was a teenager from Albuquerque, New Mexico, a fact that made Beirut's debut album, Gulag Orkestar, all the more surprising. Something of a musical prodigy, multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon began making one-man D.I.Y. bedroom recordings in his early teens; while conducting interviews several years later, he claimed to have recorded an entire album of '50s-style doo wop material and a collection of electronic pop songs inspired by the Magnetic Fields. (Indeed, Condon's dolorous vocal delivery and low, somewhat shaky pitch sound directly inspired by the Fields' Stephin Merritt.) After dropping out of high school, Condon claims to have traveled through Europe at the age of 16, in the process becoming exposed to the Balkan folk and Gypsy music that's at the heart of Gulag Orkestar. Back home in Albuquerque, Condon crossed paths with fellow New Mexican Jeremy Barnes, formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel, whose own albums as A Hawk and a Hacksaw share similarly ethnographic interests with Condon's new material. With the help of Barnes and his A Hawk and a Hacksaw partner, Heather Trost, Condon recorded the songs that would make up Gulag Orkestar largely on his own, playing accordion, keyboards, saxophone, clarinet, mandolin, ukulele, horns, glockenspiel, and percussion along with Barnes' drums and Trost's cello and violin. After Barnes gave an early version of the album to Ba Da Bing! Records label head Ben Goldberg, the newly christened band Beirut was signed to the New Jersey-based label and Condon moved from Albuquerque to Brooklyn, where he put together a floating collective of part-time bandmembers along the lines of Broken Social Scene for live performances. Following the release of Gulag Orkestar in May 2006, critical approbation quickly moved from the smallest blogs to mainstream media outlets that pegged Condon as a one-man cross between Jeff Mangum, Conor Oberst, and Sufjan Stevens. The EP Lon Gisland followed in 2007, leading up to the full-length The Flying Club Cup later that year. In 2009, Condon released the double-EP March of the Zapotec/Holland. The latter featured six electronic tracks recorded at home under the pseudonym Realpeople, while the former included six tracks recorded in Oaxaca, Mexico with the Jimenez Band, a 19-piece group from Teotitlán del Valle. 2011’s Rip Tide was recorded in Upstate New York during a cold winter, yet it still managed to retain the sunny, uplifting sound that is synonymous with the outfit. The first single, “East Harlem,” featured lush melodies that resonated with Condon's guised lyrics as well as an array of ukuleles, horns, and keys. Preceded by the infectious title cut, 2015's No No No arrived after a period of personal upheaval that saw Condon dealing with health issues and a divorce. ~ Stewart Mason
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Albums by
Beirut

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    13 songs

    On Air

    The Flying Club Cup

    11 songs

    On Air

    Gulag Orkestar

    9 songs

    On Air

    No No No

    9 songs

    On Air

    The Rip Tide

    3 songs

    On Air

    Elephant Gun

    1 song

    On Air

    Gibraltar

    1 song

    On Air

    No No No

    2 songs

    On Air

    East Harlem

    2 songs

    On Air

    Pompeii

    5 songs

    On Air

    Lon Gisland

    11 songs

    On Air

    March of the Zapotec

    1 song

    On Air

    A Sunday Smile


Top Songs by
Beirut

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Santa Fe
  3.   Elephant Gun
  4.   A Sunday Smile
  5.   Postcards From Italy
  6.   East Harlem
  7.   Un Dernier Verre (Pour La Route)
  8.   No No No
  9.   Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)
  10.   Nantes
  11.   Guyamas Sonora
  12.   Scenic World
  13.   The Rip Tide
  14.   Gibraltar
  15.   The Penalty
  16.   The Concubine
  17.   Gulag Orkestar
  18.   Brandenburg
  19.   A Candle's Fire
  20.   No Dice
  21.   Goshen
  22.   The Shrew
  23.   Port of Call
  24.   My Wife
  25.   Carousels
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Beirut

    On Air

    Marketplace Music

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    Adult Alternative

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    Indie Coffee House

    On Air

    Mumford and Friends

    On Air

    Rooster Teeth: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Indie Halloween

    On Air

    Indie

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    Indie Chill

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    Indie 500

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    Metropolitan Mood

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    Alternative Deep Dive

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    Indie Hits

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    Alternative Chill

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    Rockero

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    The Current

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    UK Indie

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    Eclectic Rock


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