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The Flying Club Cup

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iTunes Review

Young Zach Condon, the talented multi-instrumentalist behind world-folk troubadours Beirut, possesses a talent for the theatrical second only to Tom Waits. Yet where Waits has traded in nightmarish distortions of junkyard blues, sea-shanties and broken down honky-tonk, Condon has a passion for the rusted out musical textures of the Old World. Though Condon’s shambolic brass ensembles and swelling ballads may bear little actual resemblance to the music of the gypsies and café idlers he so vividly evokes, his music is possessed of a dreamlike romanticism that manages to redeem even his most florid compositions. Where Condon’s well-received debut ,Gulag Orkestar sought to recapture the drunken chaos of a gypsy orchestra, for Flying Cup Club he has turned his eyes westward, assembling a set of songs that sound as though they might provide a dream soundtrack to a tale of 19th century Parisian debauchery. Condon’s soaring baritone may not be to all tastes, and he often breaks into a melodramatic tremolo that puts a strain on his already overwrought melodies. Nonetheless, Condon has a fine ear for musical textures, and Flying Cup Club has many rewards in store for those willing to indulge Condon’s musical fantasies.

Customer Reviews

If it ain't broke...

Zach Condon is a machine. Not much more than a year ago he put out one of the best albums of 2006, Gulag Orkestar, and now along comes this, most likely one of the best of 2007. Critics fault him for having a very identifiable sound, and it's true; if you don't like the sound of one of his songs, it's doubtful you'll like any. But it's definitely a sound that I can't get enough of. While no songs reach the heights of "Postcards From Italy", I'd say that overall it is a stronger album, and perhaps a little more French than Balkan-sounding. Sufjan Stevens fans should like this (Actually, "In the Mausoleum" starts off exactly like "The Tallest Man" from Illinoise)

King Midas reincarnate

No one's doing anything like what Zach Condon's putting out. The most original and well-traveled music in the last 5 years, in my opinion. Made all the more unique and brilliant with the help of Indie music's new golden boy, Owen Pallett.

Unclassifiable and incomparable

I told one of my friends that I was looking for something new to listen to; "something that she liked" was the only qualifier I gave her. She told me about Beirut, and I just about fell off my friggin chair 15 seconds into the first song, Nantes! I've never heard anything like this and I can't get enough. In the past 2 months, I've bought everything I can get my hands on (the 3 full albums and a few EP's from iTunes here) and I feel aurally drunk half of the time now. There's something about his voice that feels like it's from the 1930's and I keep thinking of the Balkans when I hear him (I haven't done any research on the band yet, so I'm just going on feel). The horns, the accordian, his glorious voice, the harmonies, the tunes... For me, Beirut has tilted my Earth. I haven't felt this way about a band since I first heard Mother Mother.


Formed: 2006 in New York, NY [Brooklyn]

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...
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