Biography

Beirut was a one-person project from the USA that eventually grew into a band. It was formed by Zach Condon in 2002 to feature the indie-rock music flavored abundantly with the Balkan music elements. Zach was born in Santa Fe in a family of a guitarist, but the guitar became his least respected instrument. The boy was a desperate fan of music and started his own experiments with sound very early. Spending days and nights in the most remote room of the house, he mastered various instruments, combined them and extended their sounding with computer programming. Zach never had a teacher and learned to play himself, but he later admitted that he lacked professional singing training. By sixteen, the young talent had already recorded the album, The Real People, to be never released. However, many ideas realized on that record were later applied in the frames of the Beirut project. Zach was a bad pupil and never obtained a good education. Instead of going to college, he preferred travelling. The first trip to Europe brought him the clear idea of what to play as a professional musician. While in Paris, he came to a conclusion that this would be the Balkan music, whose representatives were extremely popular in France. Back in the States, he quickly found the like-minded musicians, drummer Jeremy Barnes and violinist Heather Trost.

In 2006, the trio prepared a very special material based on Balkan and Gypsy traditions, almost entirely written and arranged by Zach alone. The music was presented on the album with the eye-catching title Gulag Orkestar under the logo Beirut. The colorful cover depicted the reality of the Russian remote lands. The musicians united the Eastern Europe folk atmosphere and Latin American rhythms. Shortly before the release of this album, Zach Condon relocated to Brooklyn. He needed new musicians to back up his project and found out the great variety of those who willed to cooperate with him. Condon spent 2006 and 2007 in active touring. On the stage, Beirut was represented by a constantly changing lineup on some occasions amounting up to ten members. Zach repeated the story of numerous beginning artists who appeared not ready for the heavy schedules, new roles of celebrities and never ending road from venue to venue. In November 2006, he reached the point getting taken into a hospital with nervous and physical exhaustion. This obstacle made the band cancel the remaining part of the promotional tour.

The ensemble came back to the stage in March 2007. By that time, Zach had completed a large part of the material for the sophomore album. Although, he remained loyal to the European music as the core of his art, Condon refused to follow the direction established by the debut studio work. He made up his mind to enlarge the scope of his experiments with the profound research of Italian and French music. The first results of such efforts surfaced on the EP Lon Gisland. It was soon followed by the long player The Flying Club Cup released in August 2007. It was a beautiful romantic album embracing sixteen high quality tracks. The new material sounded perfectly in the stage, which was brilliantly demonstrated by the band’s performance in Glastonbury in 2007. The subsequent release by Beirut was composed by two EPs, March of the Zapotec, and Holland EP, released in February 2009.

Studio Albums

Beirut, No No No mp3No No No
2015
  • Balkan Folk Music
  • Folk Rock
  • Chamber Pop
Beirut, The Rip Tide mp3The Rip Tide
2011
  • Chamber Pop
  • Balkan Brass Band
  • Indie Pop
Beirut, Gulag Orkestar mp3Gulag Orkestar
2006
  • Balkan Brass Band
  • Balkan Folk Music
  • Klezmer

EP

Beirut, March of the Zapotec / Holland mp3March of the Zapotec / Holland
As on Beirut's previous works you will find no primitive tune or simple lyrics on March Of The Zapotec & Realpeople: Holland as an impressive team of people has been involved in making each of these tracks
2009
  • Balkan Brass Band
  • Balkan Folk Music
  • Synth Pop
Beirut, Lon Gisland mp3Lon Gisland
2006
  • Balkan Brass Band
  • Balkan Folk Music
  • Indie Pop