Beirut began their journey in 2006 with Gulag Orkestar. Influenced by front man, Zach Condon’s, visit to Europe, the first album combines Balkan folk and Gypsy music, which continues throughout their most recent albums. Since then, Beirut has evolved into a folk pop sound, but still incorporates the common European instruments and melodies using brass and string instruments such as trumpets and violins. Their newest album, No No No, gives the classic sound a modern twist by utilizing pop synthetic sounds and upbeat piano melodies. No No No introduces a focus on the folk pop sound that seems less prevalent in previous albums. Multiple instruments and the contrast of Condon’s deep, smooth vocals with sharp synthetic sounds give the tracks a layered and complex sound.
“Gibraltar” opens with a tribal beat and transitions to an upbeat piano sound that becomes prevalent in multiple tracks and gives the album that folk-pop sound. The piano, prevalent in multiple tracks, exudes a vintage, 70’s pop sound that listener will find comforting and catchy. “August Holland” also exhibits the same style with a rhythmic piano melody. “No No No” follows with Beirut’s signature electronic sound, overlaid with fluid vocals that soften the synthetic sound. “At Once” transitions to a somber mood with blooming trumpets. “As Needed” follows suit and acts as an intermission for the energetic album with a soft, instrumental melody. The track successfully combines subtle haunting melodies with the softness of a lullaby. Finally, “So Allowed” completes the album with Beirut’s familiar sound and Condon’s deep, lofty vocals.
Perhaps this album is an indicator of Beirut’s evolution in a musical world where one listeners can be attracted to vastly different genres. No No No debuts Beirut’s ability to keep with their old, familiar sound, while pushing the limitations of multiple genres in order to appeal to more listeners as well as keep up with their loyal listeners’ continuously changing tastes.
Nikki grew up in an imitation German town in Georgia by the name of Helen. It wasn’t until middle school that she started to get interested in the arts: painting, music, and writing. She wrote in her diary, sketched in art class and listened to regretful music. By high school, her tastes became a little more refined. She found Fiona Apple, Lou Reed and Giant Drag, and they remain her favorites in college. She was accepted to the University of Georgia in 2012 and is currently majoring in English. Upon moving to Athens from a town with more trees than people, Nikki was a bit overwhelmed. However, there is certainly no lack of inspiration in Athens, and she appreciates its love for the arts and its service as a platform.