For those who loved Beirut's Zach Condon for the simple fact of his genre mashing of indie rock and Balkan music on Gulag Orkestar, you'll find little to love on Pompeii. But for those who love Condon for the slack-jawed emotion he brought to both, Pompeii acts as a perfect lo-fi epilogue to “After the Curtain,” Gulag's Condon-and-a-calliope finale. “Fountains and Tramways” reveals that Condon wanted to be the Magnetic Fields all along (sans the tricky lyrics), showcasing his unintelligible moan over a piano, drum machine and concluding trumpet, while “Napoleon and the Bellerophon” has the same set-up plus an accordion. The focus on this EP, however, isn't the music so much as it is the emotional range of Condon's voice. Often multi-tracked, Condon pulls these compositions up from mere filler into genuinely affecting material.
By Jesse Jarnow on 09.25.14 in Features
Behind the sadness of the Clean drummer's hushed, moving debut.
By Rachael Maddux on 02.19.13 in Reviews
The first two minutes of Lady Lamb the Beekeeper's Ripely Pine seem to reinforce the notion of fragile acquiescence that 23-year-old Aly Spaltro's stage name suggests. "Take me by the arm to the altar/ Take me by the col...
By Brian Cullman on 04.22.11 in Reviews
This album is so damn charming that it's easy to overlook its wit, sophistication and sheer musicality. Like Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright and Ray Davies, Beirut mastermind Zach Condon has an unashamedly white Ang...
By Lindsey Thomas on 04.22.11 in Reviews
On the debut Gulag Orkestar, Beirut leader Zach Condon took Balkan music — which is often performed by as many musicians as possible without collapsing the stage — and boiled it down to a one-man bedroom act....