Sunday, September 09, 2007

This Season In Indie Music, Sneaky Is The New Black

From the Desk of Jordan Sowards, RB Semiregular Guest Blogger

Remember a couple months ago when Stars oh-so-quietly released the digital version of In Our Bedroom After the War approximately 1/4 of a year before the previously announced release date? The official reason given for the premature "drop" was to, like a diaper, "combat leaks."

And how silly did we all feel, scrambling to be the first to download it after Arts & Crafts threw a royal monkey wrench into our own personal album release schedules? I had already used up my eMusic downloads for the month, for crying out loud.

To me, this release-to-beat-the-leak business is also not unlike one of those middle school preemptive defensive breakups. You know, when you catch wind that your B or GF is going to break up with you, so you make tracks to their locker and announce conspicuously that you will, in fact, be doing up the breaking. Upper hand officially secured. And me and my denim shirt are back all up on the market.

Well, apparently this ultra-absorbent (back to the diaper joke) record release method is becoming a fashionable trend among the twee pop set. Last night I was having a look at the Internet, and at one point I must have blinked because when I looked back, there was the new Beirut album, The Flying Club Cup. And it was all, "What? I've been here the whole time." But I knew it hadn't. It had snuck out. And it's been out since Tuesday on iTunes, people! Did we know this?

Whatever. All I know is it's out now. And, as you might expect, it's gorgeous. I'm talking Brad Pitt sliding up out of the swimming pool in slow motion gorgeous. Wait, did I say Brad Pitt? I meant Angelina Jolie, but the backspace key is broken on my compuper.

The Flying Club Cup is said to be based more on French pop than Balkan music, so expect less Hawk and A Hacksaw, and more Yann Tiersen's Amelie soundtrack. "A Sunday Smile" opens with a waltzing organ whose sound you will recognize from the pair of sublime lo-fi electronic numbers on Gulag Orkestar, and continues with the gentle, more familiar still, baritone croon of youngster Zach Condon. Like any indie pop song worth its salt, "Guyamas Sonora" starts with a cute, tinkling glockenspiel (which I adore) and whimsical piano. As proof of the community effort, both songs build into a mighty Euro-hoedown sing-along. The whole of The Flying Club Cup, like the Lon Gisland EP, employs the contribution of Condon's entire touring orkestar, and is also augmented with string arrangements from Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy. And is awesome.

Listen here first, then go score it for yourself. The physical release is still scheduled for October something somethingth. (Ed: October 9)

Beirut - Guyamas Sonora
Beirut - A Sunday Smile


Blogger charlie said...

The Flying Club Cup is my favorite album of the year, and that says a lot because the new Sharon Jones is also out.....

2:57 PM  
Blogger William Couch said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed the album had been released early - and yet there seems to be no official word from the distributor... alas. Also, thank you for highlighting "Guyamas Sonora." That and Cherbourg are my favorite tracks right now.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Elise 531 said...

I don't really like this whole leaking business. But I am really excited that the Beirut guys are back so soon making more beautiful music.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Jackson said...

I must say, I think I prefer the Eastern European vibe more than the French one.

With the exception of "Cherbourg." Damn that's a good song that could fit sneakily into the background of Schindler's List.

4:58 PM  

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