The U.S. folk-pop band will return to the stage in February 2024 for two Berlin shows.
Behind Beirut is multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1986. He recorded songs in his own bedroom as a teenager, briefly studied photography and Portuguese, and traveled throughout Europe several times. The project was named after the Lebanese capital, as several cultures meet there - which is also true for Beirut's music. It is a mixture of indie pop and traditional music from different regions of the world: Balkan folk music, Eastern European polka or French chanson. Condon recorded large parts of the Beirut debut album "Gulag Orkestar," which was released in 2006, himself. With their unusual sounds, his songs soon attracted increased interest; the third Beirut album "The Rip Tide" entered the charts internationally. He was consequently signed to the 4AD label, where his next albums "No No No" (2015) and "Gallipoli" (2019) were released. In November 2023, Condon's latest work "Hadsel" will be released.
"Hadsel" is the first new album since 2019, recorded on the Norwegian island of Hadsel shortly after a physical and mental breakdown forced Condon to cancel his 2019 tour, looking for a place to recover after being in a state of shock and self-doubt. Working in isolation, Condon explains, "I was lost in a trance. I was stumbling blindly through my own mental breakdown, which I had repressed since I was a teenager. It came and rang me like a bell. I agonized over many things past and present, while the beauty of nature, the northern lights, and the fearsome storms around me provided an awe-inspiring spectacle. The few hours of light brought out the unfathomable beauty of the mountains and fjords, and the hours of twilight filled me with subdued excitement. I would like to think that the landscape is somehow present in the music. The result is a collection of songs that beautifully reflect that vulnerability, the sense of self-determination, and the belief that one can learn to cope again on one's own after a breakdown."
On February 16 and 17, 2024, Zach Condon will return to the stage for Beirut's first live shows since the fateful 2019 tour. At the prestigious Tempodrom in his current hometown of Berlin, Condon will be joined by an ensemble of fellow musicians both old and new, including Aaron Arntz (piano), Ben Lanz (trombone/sousaphone/piano), Clarice Jensen (cello), Griﬃn Rodriguez (bass), Kyle Resnick (trumpet), Nick Petree (drums/percussion) and Yuki Numata (violin). For the only concerts he plans to perform in support of "Hadsel," an album written, recorded and produced entirely by himself, Condon's group will liberate the new music from its lonely roots and expand it with a combination of modular synthesizers, baritone ukulele and horns - creating an all-encompassing, collective sonic experience of beauty and wonder.
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