Beirut: No No No 12"
Zach Condon and his band Beirut will release their fourth album No No No in September 2015 via 4AD. Coming four years after The Rip Tide, and recorded over a two week period during one of the coldest New York winters - with blizzard after blizzard raging outside - No No No is Condon’s most vibrant and spirited record to date.
This time around, the songs were constructed live, in the moment, by the band, and are more concert-ready than ever as a result. The band was significantly stripped down: guitar, piano, bass, and drums formed the bulk of the arrangements as opposed to the more obscure instruments for which he was initially known. No No No opens with a sort of tribal drum beat, quickly giving way to a more western/modern snare sound and drum machine – a subtle wink at Beirut’s own musical transformation.
There’s a caffeinated exuberance throughout the entirety of the record. The songs are particularly upbeat and awake, reflective of Condon’s newfound clarity, so much so in fact, that the fifth song, the instrumental breather "As Needed" is exactly that – a necessary intermission. The second half picks up where it left off, with effervescent percussion across pop songs, often led by bubbly piano lines that showcase Condon’s development as a pianist.
If the darkest hour is right before the dawn, Condon’s dawn is the brightest point in his still young career. He’s found his true artistic identity as a songwriter – one that greatly abandons many of the formulas for which he was first known. The songwriter within Condon has always been there, albeit sonically veiled on past records. It’s never been presented so prominently, and finds Beirut on its most stable and convincing footing yet.