Members: Zach Condon, Perrin Cloutier, Hari Ziznewski, Jason Poranski, Nick Petree, Kristin Ferebee, Paul Collins, Jon Natchez, Kelly Pratt, Tracy Pratt, Ben Lanz and Lucy Blyth
Genre: World, Indie, Electronica
Hometown: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Albums: Gulag Orkestar, The Flying Club Cup
Begun as the solo project of Zach Condon, Beirut has since expanded to include several other members and has become among the most popular bands in indie circles. Since their first performance in 2006, the group has grown in leaps and bounds thanks to their unique fusion of indie rock, Bohemian folk and electronica, bringing a clever sound which promises to be around for years.
Condon had always been a student of music, but his interest in European influences grew once he traveled to the continent as a teenager. Upon returning to the states, the then 19-year-old Condon set to work on his first album. In 2005 he released his first record under the name Beiruit, entitled Gulag Orkestar. Although the album generated little commercial success, thanks to songs such as "Postcards from Italy" it was a favorite among critics, many of whom considered it to be among the best records of the year.
Though he recorded his first album largely by himself, Condon decided to expand Beirut for the follow up release. The 2007 album, The Flying Club Cup, included many more contributors, most notably Owen Pallett, who lent his considerable talents in the form of violin, organ and backing vocals. Much like its predecessor, The Flying Club Cup was well-received by critics. However, it also generated a larger response among fans than Beirut's first endeavor.
As Beirut continued to grow its fan base by way of an extensive tour, Condon and an ever-growing lineup begun work on their third record. The result was an ambitious double EP, 2009's March of the Zapotec/Holland. The release was a hit among fans for its bold mixture of Mexican-infused music on March of the Zapotec and electronic-influenced tracks on Holland. Due to songs such as "The Shrew," the record was a big enough success to earn Beirut its first appearance on U.S. television when they performed on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Flanked by talented artists such as Kelly Pratt and Nick Petree, Condon has created a sound with Beirut that is unlike any other in the music industry. With an ever growing fan base that extends across the world, and an inventiveness that keeps audiences guessing, it's no surprise Beirut has become one of the most well-respected bands in the indie world.
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