As the summer fades into memory and the days begin to shorten, we’re left to our thoughts to reflect on what the summer has brought us musically. You’ll easily get numb trying to make a list of everything released; only a few will truly stand out.
A late and attention grabbing submission emerges out of Albuquerque, New Mexico with distinctive personality. On August 30th, the worldly and talented Beirut will release The Rip Tide. The nine tracks are seasoned with influences spanning as many decades as continents. Zachary Condon holds his eastern European experiences near and dear to his heart while conveying them into a meticulously orchestrated experience. His ability to create fluidity within each track has enabled him to master a sound that is simply Beirut.
As the album transcends the definition of modern indie music, we’re dished a healthy dose of difference. The Rip Tide is not the basic acoustic guitar, drum, and bass composition with quirky writing; it is layers of talent molded out of horn sections, pianos, and Condon’s refreshingly original vocals. Opening to “A Candle’s Fire,” you’re enveloped in the swaying vocal/horn pairing reminiscent of olde European folk style emerging in modern mentality. The dreary vibrato vocals dig deep into your emotion, all while feeling hopeful and soothing. The follow up track “Santa Fe,” breaks into an almost whimsical feel as Condon leisurely croons the simple yet addictive lyrics: “Sign me up, Santa Fe.” Beirut’s third album creates an experience within just nine tracks that offers itself to more of a soundtrack for the end of summer than simply just songs. When this unique album comes to a close with “Port of Call,” we’re given a rousing track that slowly breathes into a much larger being; you’re left with the retrospective outlook that all of these complex, large scale songs don’t feel exhausting, they’re just right.
Everyone has their album they’ve discovered this summer that will stick with them to act as a soundtrack to their memories. The Rip Tide will certainly accompany me as I sit on my porch, pondering the happenings of the summer while the sun slowly falls into tomorrow.