On each successive release, Beirut’s Zach Condon keeps expanding his sonic palette and his taste for stylistic variety while sharpening his songcraft. MARCH OF THE ZAPOTEC/HOLLAND, released in 2009, brings together two EPs representing Condon’s restlessly inventive musical fusions.
The songs on MARCH OF THE ZAPOTEC’s reflect Condon’s travels to Oaxaca, where he worked with a 19-piece Mexican band for a sound that merges Latin folk, Balkan brass band, and his own Western pop instincts. The songs on HOLLAND, which Condon recorded at his home studio, have a more electronic sound that may remind listeners of ‘80s synth pop or contemporary acts like the Postal Service. Yet Condon’s experiments never sound random or pieced together, but are made remarkably cohesive by his sharp, poetic sensibility.