All the way to Gallipoli
Ever since Zach Condon’s bunch performed their song “Nantes” in the streets of Paris, back in 2007, they’ve had a strong following in France in particular and Europe in General. With very good reason: inexplicably, it took New Mexican Condon to create a beautiful blend of Balkan-influenced sounds with subtly crafted melodies and intricate contemporary productions to produce a wonderfully whimsical discography over the years. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Condon’s voice is rather brilliant.
And, every couple of years, the band comes back with a new crop of songs for us to enjoy. After 2015’s No no no came Gallipoli last month, once again named after a historically significant place for us Europeans — and Turkish people, since it’s their land after all. And, once again, they offer a series of incredibly scenic and sonically rich tracks to accompany everyone’s Spring of 2019. The latest single released from the album, and the one currently showing on their channels is “Landslide”, along with its perfectly facetious music video, but the landmark song from this LP is arguably its title track.
As is often the case with great musicianship, the studio version has nothing to dramatically add to any live performance — when said live performance is not actually better. And that’s saying something, when the piece in question is as subtle and features as many instruments, bells and whistles as “Gallipoli” does. Since the song doesn’t have an official music video, here they are above performing it at Stephen Colbert’s Late show last month. And rocking it too.
As is the case with Beirut since “Nantes” (at least), this new song is yet another example of beautiful musical layering, with the track slowly building as the brass section, drums and vocals gradually add up to create an enticing mini-symphony that seamlessly crosses the line between old central European folklore and hipster indie music circa 2019. And it’s a good thing we never quite know where to put “Gallipoli”: makes it more timeless. As it should be.