BEIRUT: Gulag Orkestar LP


Beirut "Gulag Orkestar" LP

While it may sound like an entire Balkan gypsy orchestra playing modern songs as mournful ballads and upbeat marches, Beirut’s first album, Gulag Orkestar, is actually the work of 19-year-old Albuquerque native Zach Condon, with an assist from Jeremy Barnes (Neutral Milk Hotel, A Hawk and a Hacksaw). There are no guitars on this album; instead, horns, violins, cellos, ukuleles, mandolins, glockenspiel, drums, tambourines, congas, organs, pianos, clarinets and accordions all build and break around Condon’s deep-voiced crooner vocals, swaying to the Eastern European beats like a drunken twelve-member carnival band. Gulag Orkestar is a glorious sweep of music, striking in its emotional content and stunning in its scope. 


1. The Gulag Orkestar

2. Prenzlauerberg

3. Brandenburg

4. Postcards From Italy

5. Mount Wroclai (Idle Days)

6. Rhineland (Heartland)

7. Scenic World

8. Bratislava

9. The Bunker

10. The Canals of Our City

11. After the Curtain