Author: Sam Seliger
Zach Condon’s band “Beirut” returned this month with their fifth full-length album, “Gallipoli.” The Balkan and world music-influenced indie folk group recorded in New York and Italy, after Condon wrote songs in Gallipoli (hence the album’s name).
In "Gallipoli," Beirut’s songs are gentle; soft horns and lullaby vocals glide over gentle guitar and synthesizer. The calm, lush textures are calming and add depth to the lyrics, which take a peaceful look at death and moving on.
For the opener, titled “When I Die,” Condon sings, “When I die I want to travel light, or rinse my hands, so I catch the satellite. Don’t cry, I promise that I’ll get it right, I’ve been practicing my whole life,” with a mellow yet slightly upbeat guitar strum, before giving way to a choir of Spanish horns. This sonic and lyrical juxtaposition, and the corresponding motif they create of death as serene and peaceful, is all over the album.
On “Landslide,” one of the most melodically upbeat tracks on the album, Condon mourns “There's a landslide back home, only when I'm alone. Could we ever have known how the roads would return?” lending the music a sense of longing, as if looking back on some happy memory of the past turned bittersweet.
On “I Giardini,” Condon’s soft voice sweeps gently over the keyboard and rhythmic hand drums, calling to mind the music of (former Vampire Weekend member) Rostam. "Gallipoli" is definitely worth a listen, especially if you’re looking for something to ease your mind and your soul.