Beirut – No No No
Few make the little appear big (and the big sound intimate) as elegantly as Zach Condon. Now back within the 4AD fold and recorded over a two week period in a snowbound New York, the first Beirut LP since 2011’s The Rip Tide represents yet another example of how he artfully meshes contradictory forces into simple and intuitive patterns. It’s not just that the lazy summer musicality of No No No belies inclement weather; this is all home vs homesick. Together yet alone.
Strung out amidst languid peels of brass (At Once; Perth), graceful 70’s-style piano (August Holland), and Condon’s silky, lost and found tenor (every track except mid-point instrumental As Needed, which wouldn’t have been out of place had it concluded Pet Sounds), the beauty is soft, and fragile, but also fleet of foot, and highly engaging with it. “If we don't go now, we won't get very far. Don't know the first thing about who you are,” as Zach sings on the title track. The contused sentiment, eloquently put.