Beirut - The Flying Club Cup

A musical genius traversing across the globe, devouring and cherishing all musical traditions in his path

Album Review by Ali Maloney | 08 Oct 2007
Album title: The Flying Club Cup
Artist: Beirut
Label: 4AD

On Beirut's previous album, Gulag Orkestar, well-travelled 20 year-old Zach Condon concocted a sublime approximation of Eastern European folk music: all stomping rusty brass and melancholic gypsy calls to arms. On this album, Condon bears the fruit of his immersion in the ambiences of France and the music of Jacques Brel and Francois Hardy, spurred on by a 1910 photo of hot air balloons gliding past the Eiffel Tower. This geographical change of focus allows Condon to change his songwriting and composition, but they're not so different as to not sound like himself: this is not a man mimicking whatever he happens to be into at the time, this is a musical genius traversing across the globe devouring and cherishing all musical traditions in his path. Epic and wonderful Parisian drinking songs are absorbed in the same way as wistful meditations gliding past rural French farms, all ring-led by Condon's distinctive voice, which manages to sound simultaneously feeble and naive but also wise and strong beyond this formidable talent's actual age. And like Gulag Orkestar, The Flying Club Cup's songs sound magnificently huge, but never cluttered, as complementing vocal harmonies weave amongst dreamy violins, joyous guitar and dancing brass. This leaves the listener with baited breath to see which musical cultures Condon might assimilate next. [Ali Maloney]

Release Date: 8 Oct
Beirut plays The Arches, Glasgow on 7 Nov