Cities and songs


1. Nantes

A clear sign of Zach Condon’s apparent Francophilia and one of the most beautiful he’s ever made. Situated in the west of France on the banks of the river Loire, Nantes is one of the most important cities of Brittany.

2. Santa Fe

One of the songs on his upcoming album, “The Rip Tide”, and one he’s been playing live over the years. Highly addictive, it’s about the city he was born in, in the state of New Mexico.

3. Bratislava

Maybe not his best song, but we love that folkoric touch with all the brass instruments. Why didn’t he call it Cuenca, or Cordoba? “Bratislava” also is one of the few tracks dedicated to the eastern Europe he loves so much, so it deserves to be on this list.

4. East Harlem

The first advance track of “The Rip Tide” we’ve been listening to over and over since the day it was released. We don’t know what it is that fascinates him so much about one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods of New York.

5. Venice

One of the most “mainstream” cities Zach Condon has paid tribute to. We like the song because it replaces the traditional folk with subtle electronic elements.

6. Postcards From Italy

We stay in Italy, but this time nowhere specifically. The lyrics of this song contain no clues of the where Zach Condon sent the postcards from, but it doesn’t matter because it’s one of the best tracks on his debut album “Gulag Orkestar”.

7. Cherbourg

Let’s be honest, we only know the city from the WWII battle between the Nazis and the Americans (and its umbrellas). The songs is included on “The Flying Club Cub”, the record he made after taking in large amounts of French chanson (Jacques Brel, particularly). It all comes together.

8. Rhineland (Heartland)

The Rhineland is the area in western Germany where the river Rhine flows. It seems Zach Condon likes cities with rivers a lot, and in this region there are several: Cologne, Bonn and Dortmund, among others.

9. Mimizan

You didn’t think the title of this superb track on the “Dark Was The Night” compilation was the name of a city, did you? Well, it is, and it’s French. We like it because it is said that, centuries ago, Mimizan was a Viking stronghold.

10. Prenzlauer Berg

A neighbourhood in the east of Berlin. We chose this song because it’s the perfect example of the Balkan folk that made Beirut famous. And because we imagine him playing the track on the Berlin tube, with Vincent Moon’s cameras recording him.

PlayGround is a media partner of FIB

Before Beirut performs at the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim this Saturday, we offer you a list of tracks Zach Condon has dedicated to cities, neighbourhoods and regions.

Beirut will be appearing at Festival Internacional de Benicàssim 2011. You can get your tickets here.

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