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All Songs Considered

All Songs At 15: Beirut's Long, Dusty Road To The Tiny Desk


Tucker Walsh, NPR

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This September brings the first new album in four years from singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon, whose exhaustion-fueled hiatus from music hasn't dimmed the joyful circus pop he makes as Beirut a single watt.

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When Zach and his band of merry noisemakers arrived at our offices in 2011, we'd heard they were coming directly from a sweaty set at Bonnaroo via a 10-hour drive to Washington, DC, so Bob Boilen ran to the nearest mall for some towels, and we led them straight to NPR's basement showers. Turns out we're not alone in that impulse: John Richards of member station KEXP had the group in studio in 2007, and wrote later that his first thought when they arrived was getting the group "a hot meal and a warm shower."

Beirut's Tiny Desk Concert took place early in the multi-year tour that Condon would eventually cancel to recuperate, and we saw both the trials of touring and Condon's irrepressible spirit already at play that day. Here's hoping Zach and co. take care of themselves on the road in support of the new record, No No No, which comes out Sept. 11.

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