One could make a pretty good case for the fact that Beirut are one of the most talented and popular indie bands ever, and deserve their fair share of the credit for helping to popularize indie music to a wider audience over the years. With a solid discography of classic indie albums like The Flying Club Cup, any announcement of a new album by Beirut creates a sustained flurry of expectation, speculation and chatter among literally millions of fans worldwide.
The anticipation building around the upcoming release of the band’s first album in four year’s is palpable. The new album is called Rip Tide, and has been slated for official release in the U.S. on August 30th. After a show recently, we were given an advance copy of the album (see tracklisting below), and listening to it, was the main priority after the show.
Based on the number of times we’ve listened to Rip Tide now (on the fifth or sixth spin right now), we feel strongly that Beirut fans are going to be pleased with the band’s first album in four years. We’ve already listened to it three times. Already, the first single from the album, “East Harlem,” has made the rounds, even taking the No. 2 spot on the third week of June’s Top 10 Songs list. It’s a fantastic song, but, thankfully, it doesn’t end there. Rip Tide is yet another album of wonderfully written and impeccably recorded songs from one of the best indie bands of the past decade.
“East Harlem” – Beirut from The Rip Tide – out August 30th
One of the main things that we like about Beirut is the consistency of their sound and their work – rich, textured, full, creative, clever, engaging, and a pillar of influence to other musicians around the world. And while Beirut does have a recognizable sound – the unmistakable brass and string instrumentation, the distinct, crooning vocals of Zach Condon, the synth orchestrations, fabulous choruses, thrilling climaxes, strong poetic songwriting influenced by a keen world view, and a professionalism that makes the band members, individually, and collectively, admired by fans, critics and fellow artists.
We don’t want to give away too much about the album, but we believe that Beirut fans will be particularly delighted with The Rip Tide. There are some really fantastic songs on here, including “Santa Fe,” “Goshen,” “A Candle’s Fire”, the first single, “East Harlem,” and the title track. As is the case with all of Beirut’s albums, it’s hard to find a song on The Rip Tide that we don’t like, and easy to find songs we enjoy immensely.
– Beirut from The Rip Tide – due out August 30th
One of the things we also like about the album is that there are many songs about places, as the track listing below clearly shows. Beirut has always evoked a deep affinity, and even longing, in their music for places, which any Beirut fan knows to be true. There are a dozen or more Beirut songs from their fantastic discography that have a geographical reference in them, whether it’s in the lyrics, the song title, or both. We share this affinity for songs that are about places – whether it’s a town or city, state or country, or even a lake, river or ocean.
Beirut has the unique gift to create a sense of place, not just in their lyrics, but through their rich, dynamic and world music influenced compositions. Anyone familiar with the band’s music over the past decade can’t miss this central theme in the music and one of the reasons
The other reason we like The Rip Tide is that fact that it presents more terrific songs for our State of Music playlist series – a mixtape series with the names of states or cities in the song titles. It’s one of our favorite mixtapes to put together, so, if you’ve never heard them before, you gotta check them out.
In fact, it’s about time to make a new State of Music mix. Surely, one of the songs from The Rip Tide will be included. In the meantime, listen to State of Music mixtapes, and find out how this mixtape series was partially influenced by Sufjan Stevens. We have hundreds of great, manually selected and organized playlists for this series, and it’s been a while since we’ve put together a new one – so watch out for that, coming soon.
You may remember Beirut’s third album from 2009, which was basically two EPs – March of the Zapotec/ Realpeople Holland. The former was the band’s collaboration with excellent mican artits. recording with a marching band in Mexico, and the other from Condon‘s solo, bedroom project under the moniker, RealPeople (nope, not the 1980s TV show) . On the latter EP, was yet another place name song, the enchanting, “Venice,” via UmStrum.com. And the place name songs list goes on and on.
“Venice” – RealPeople fom Holland EP (2009)
The Rip Tide Track Listing:
1. A Candle’s Fire
2. Santa Fe
3. East Harlem
5. Payne’s Bay
6. The Rip Tide
8. The Peacock
9. Port of Call
Have You Heard Beirut’s New Brazilian Cover Song?
Beirut also has a new cover song out from the compilation Red Hot + RIO 2, that officially dropped this week. For their part, the members of Beirut recorded an unsurprising excellent cover of Caetano Veloso‘s “O Leãozinho.” While we have yet to hear all of volume two of Red Hot + Rio, if it’s anything like the first volume, then we’re looking forward to hearing it – the LP is on our Summer Listening list (that gets longer every day).
(Caetano Veloso) – Beirut from Red Hot + Rio 2 via DayDreamStationMusic blog