Discovering ‘The Rip Tide’

Beirut - The Rip Tide

Zach Condon, Beruit’s lead singer who writes the majority of the band’s music, is uncommon in the sense that he pulls from foreign and historical influences and merges it with his timeless creative vision to create music that stands on its own. In Beirut’s newest album, Condon has developed his vision since we saw him last.

The band radiates from its Eastern European and Balkan folk backgrounds. Beirut’s global influences continue to resonate in the newest album, “The Rip Tide.” Condon has finally made these outside influences his own, pulling from French, Germanic and Baroque and assimilating them in whole.

The record shows Condon’s sophistication and growth as an artist as well as a greater variation in instrumentation and melody. There is a concentration in “The Rip Tide” that uniquely separates it from the effort seen in previous albums.

Only five years have elapsed since the release of Beirut’s first album “Gulang Orkestar,” and even in the beginning the band showed a strong understanding for instrumentation and development of a song’s structure.

Beirut might have the greatest variation of instrumentation in the modern music scene. Some songs are strongly driven by trumpets. The mannerism in his instruments such as the ukulele plays to the creativity and flow of the band’s songs.

Condon’s voice has grown with time as well, showing an improvement in confidence as well as the ability to articulate specific emotions.

The album has intense nostalgic feelings that seems to be influenced by Condon’s past, as well as melancholy rhythms and harmonies. Although the album is short for a full-length, there is a song that fits every mood.

At age 25, Condon has produced three full albums including “The Rip Tide,” which fulfills great expectations and demonstrates growth.

There is an essence to Condon’s writing that allows the “The Ripe Tide” to fit in with the rest of Beirut’s discography even though he has grown with this album. The orgin of his musical influences hasn’t changed. Condon was in a certain state of mind when he was making this album. Unless the listener studies the album booklet, he or she will not be able to assign each song to an album solely based on the mood of that song. While Condon has clearly sharpened his musical talent over time, Beirut’s albums do not stand individually but rather constitute a single cohesive set.

“The Rip Tide” releases officially on Aug. 30, although it is currently available on the iTunes store.