The Smiths meet Mardi Gras

Led by the 23-year-old grandson of jazz great Eddie Condon, Beirut is known for its fusion of indie rock and Eastern European folk music. But the group’s new double EP flies off in two unexpected directions: Mexican funeral music and old-school synth-pop.

The first EP, March of the Zapotec, was inspired by Zach Condon’s 2008 trip to Oaxaca — it was recorded with a 19-piece brass ensemble from Teotitlan del Valle and sounds like a hazy night out on the town. Its companion, Holland, sounds like the retro-disco afterparty: Credited to Realpeople (a.k.a. Condon solo), it’s built around burbling synthesizers, along with the occasional accordion or trumpet. Condon’s swooping, swooning voice fits both settings perfectly and makes us wonder what the next stamp on his musical passport will be.

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