Beirut’s Zach Condon started making lo-fi synthesizer recordings as a teenager, inspired by The Magnetic Fields, The Smiths, and Neutral Milk Hotel.
∙ After dropping out of his New Mexico high school to travel around Europe, Condon became fascinated with Balkan brass music.
∙ He enlisted former Neutral Milk Hotel accordion player/percussionist Jeremy Barnes as his chief collaborator for Beirut’s debut album, 2006’s Gulag Orkestar.
∙ Condon says that he named the band after Lebanon’s capital city because “it’s seen a lot of conflict” and “it’s a place where things collide.”
∙ The band’s second album, The Flying Club Cup, draws upon Condon’s interest in French music and culture and was partly recorded at Arcade Fire’s Quebec studio.
∙ In addition to singing, Condon plays trumpet, ukulele, keyboards, accordion, synthesizers, flugelhorn, and French horn.
∙ He recorded 2019’s Gallipoli in Italy—having written the title song there—as well as in New York City, and his adopted home of Berlin.
ORIGINNew York, NY [Brooklyn]