I've just finished listening to the first great album of the year- Beirut's "March of the Zapotec/Real People". Beirut is really just the brainchild of young singer Zach Condon. Influenced by Eastern European "folk" music (much like Denver band DeVotchKa), Condon's latest installment of smart and get-under-the-skin sounds is a magisterial blend of two divisive types of music. The first half resembles his earlier sounds on "The Gulag Orkestar" and "The Flying Club Cup"- a crashing (but completely moving) blend of horns, violins and Arcade Fire-like makeshift instruments. The second half of his latest EP (the RealPeople section) dives deep into low-key electronica. Blink and you may think it's Thom Yorke singing.... but Condon is a unique individual whose voice pierces whatever sound he chooses to infuse into his eclectic mix. It's all wonderful and sublime.
Here's a sample from the RealPeople section of the album, my favorite song on the record titled "Venice".
And just in case the above track misleads anyone into Beirut's music, here's a more traditional and representative taste of their music:
Beirut only has three albums out, so do yourself and favor and catch up quick.