For the past year, BEIRUT has alternated between touring in support of 2007's much-lauded 'The Flying Club Cup', and writing a wealth of new material. Some early discussions about recording material for a film being shot in Mexico morphed into a new idea: What about finding a local band in a small city in Mexico, hiring them to play some new material, and recording the result? It was a sincere challenge every step of the way. Zach Condon (bandleader) had to find the band and communicate with the performers by hiring a translator (who had to be able to speak English, Spanish and Zapotec; the band members' native language). From there, he flew to Oaxaca, travelling a half-hour out of town to the tiny weaver village of Teotitlan del Valle, where he met the nineteen members of THE JIMENEZ BAND. The ensuing weeks of recording, rewriting, and relating are documented in a series of short films to be released online as the release date for 'March of the Zapotec' draws near. The six songs found on 'March of the Zapotec' are only a part of what this release has become. Before recording as Beirut, Condon went by REALPEOPLE for his bedroom recordings. He has revived the name for the second half in this collection 'Holland', which is a series of songs conceived and completed at home. Together, this album-length double release represents the totality of Condon's work over the past year. It is further testament of the inventiveness and intimacy Condon creates as Beirut: a band which started as one person sounding like twelve and developed into a particular style and sound. Whether he's being inspired by Balkan folk, French chanteuse, Mexican troubadour, '80s synth pop, or '90s house, the common thread remains; Condon's ability to personalize the music by crafting simple melodies that sound both unique, and unforgettable.
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