Disclaimer: I’m not a professional music reviewer, so if you want a legitimate review of this album, I’d recommend checking out Pitchfork or Metacritc. I’m here mainly to try and spread some of the new music that I’ve discovered recently.
I don’t consider myself a music expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I like to think that I have a pretty solid taste. Every so often I’ll come across an album that I find myself replaying over days, and even weeks. However, this time the album I’ve discovered is in a genre that I never would have expected: Eastern European / Balkan folk rock. The album in question: The Flying Club Cup by Beirut.
Beirut began as the solo project of songwriter Zachary Condon, but has since turned into a band led by Condon. Currently the band has released a total of 4 EPs (I’ve yet to hear any of these, but they’ve all been pretty well received) and 2 albums, Gulag Orkestar (2006) and the aforementioned The Flying Club Cup (2007). I’ve listened to both of these albums, and while I enjoyed both, the latter was far more interesting in my mind.
What really stands out about this album is the build-up and layering of most of the tracks. Nantes, the opening track, begins with a simple 3-chord organ progression. But before you know it, there’s an array of different melodies gradually being added to the song. You’ll be hearing the same 3-chord progression, but now with accordions, french horns, strings, percussion, and they’re all behind Condon’s outstanding vocals. And it just sounds good. That’s really the only way I’m capable of describing it. It’s good-sounding. Very pleasant, indeed.
I urge you to give this album a shot, even if you don’t think you’re into this type of music. Hell, I definitely didn’t think I’d be ever be listening to Eastern European music in my lifetime. I’m glad I stumbled upon this album though; it’ll definitely be in heavy rotation for the forseeable future.
Check out these videos, and more at The Flying Club Cup link above.