By Chris Priore
Beirut, the only Balkan-inspired indie folk group that I have ever heard of, has just dropped their third full-length, titled The Rip Tide. Their first full-length since the acclaimed The Flying Club Cup, released in 2007, the group has managed to provide another solid offering. Zack Condon, the founding member of Beirut, has set himself up as a great arranger and songwriter– along the lines of indie-great Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields). And talent is not the only way in which these two overlap — Condon’s melancholy croon and love of ukulele and synths fit in with everything Merritt; from 1992’s synth-laced pop of The House of Tomorrow to 2009’s anti-synth, heavy in the folk, Realism, the similarities cannot be ignored. However, Condon still manages to put forth a fiercely original product, which is bolstered by the fact that he created his own record-label, Pompeii Records, to release this album and subsequent releases. So if you’re a fan of anything from stately Balkan-inspired marches to some melancholy synth-pop tunes, make sure to check out this album. And now I’ll leave you with the first video produced for this album, Sante Fe. Enjoy.