The Rip Tide
A touchingly simple, personal album that allows the voice of American Zach Condon to shine through, clear and unadorned. Orchestral pop, cleverly spiced with organs and scintillating brass arrangements.
Zach Condon formed Beirut as his solo vehicle in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2006.
Previously, aged just 16, Condon had dropped out of school to travel Europe with his brother Ryan. Here he encountered Balkan folk music for the first time. On his return from Europe, Condon enrolled at the University of New Mexico, where he studied Portuguese and photography.
During this period he also recorded songs in his bedroom. The pieces were subsequently finished in the studio with the help of drummer Jeremy Barnes (Neutral Milk Hotel, A Hawk and a Hacksaw) and violinist Heather Trost (A Hawk and a Hacksaw). Condon signed to Ba Da Bing! Records under the pseudonym of Beirut and released his first album, Gulag Orkestar, on 9 May 2006, subsequently recruiting various musical friends for his first-ever concerts in Knaresborough in the UK and in New York.
9 October 2007 saw the release on 4AD of the second offering from Beirut: The Flying Club Cup, an album recorded mostly in Albuquerque, New Mexico and completed at Arcade Fire’s studio in Quebec. The album finds Zach Condon under the influence of the French chanson, particularly the work of Gainsbourg, Brel and Montand. The group set off to tour the US; then, in April 2008, Condon decided to cancel his European tour in order to rest.
On 27 January 2009, Beirut delivered the double EP March of the Zapotec/Holland. In February of the same year came the group’s American TV debut on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Condon spent the winter of 2010–2011 working on new material in New York. On 30 August 2011, on his own label Pompeii Records, he released his third album The Rip Tide, recorded with Perrin Cloutier (accordion, piano), Paul Collins (bass), Ben Lanz (trombone, piano and tuba), Nick Petree (drums, percussion) and Kell Pratt (trumpet). Zach Condon can also be heard on the 2011 Blondie album Panic of Girls.