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March of the Zapotec & Realpeople - Holland

Beirut

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Album Review

On each successive release, Beirut’s Zach Condon keeps expanding his sonic palette and his taste for stylistic variety while sharpening his songcraft. March of the Zapotec/Realpeople Holland, released in 2009, brings together two EPs representing Condon’s restlessly inventive musical fusions. The songs on March of the Zapotec reflect Condon’s travels to Oaxaca, where he worked with a 19-piece Mexican band for a sound that merges Latin folk, Balkan brass band, and his own Western pop instincts. The songs on Realpeople Holland, which Condon recorded at his home studio, have a more electronic sound that may remind listeners of ‘80s synth pop or contemporary acts like the Postal Service. Yet Condon’s experiments never sound random or pieced together, but are made remarkably cohesive by his sharp, poetic sensibility.

Customer Reviews

More sublime music from Beirut

Do not confuse this as an album proper - it is a double EP, although it could just as easily pass as an album, on the strength of the tracks. March of the Zapotec was recorded in Mexico with a funeral band - so the worldy feel of Beirut is still present on the first 6 tracks, which are excellent (particularly La Llorona). The last 5 tracks, however, are inspired by Zach Condon's bedroom recordings under the name Realpeople, starting with the charity track My Night With The Prositute From Marseille (the lyrics of which are great). The highlight, however, of that EP is easily The Concubine. It is vaguely reminiscent of Nantes from The Flying Club Cup - only a good thing!

Expecting so much more

This recording was such a letdown - after enjoying Flying Cups so much - do not get what this recording is about- "Venice" and "Concubine" were easily standouts amongst an array of very ordinary songs .

Biography

Formed: 2006 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

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...
Full Bio

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