Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
Building previous records around Left Bank leanings, Balkan folk, and a mélange of Euro-centric sounds, Beirut mastermind Zach Condon typically finds inspiration an ocean away and a century back. With excellent third album, The Rip Tide, he marches out of the Parisian café, looking inward and embracing Western pop without losing his affinity for multi-tiered composition. As the title suggests, inertia (in general) and movement (specifically) dominate both the thematic and musical landscapes. Overtly, "Vagabond" is about wandering and its jaunty keys and harpsichord augment that. On the other hand, "Santa Fe" ― Condon's birthplace ― contemplates home, tellingly using driving synths and horns. Similarly, marching drums on "A Candle's Fire" and the lyrical repetition of "Payne's Bay" keep the affair peripatetic. On "East Harlem," Condon coos, "Sound is the colour I know," and that notion permeates the entire LP. Every track slyly plays with form and function, carefully blending each constituent part. Highlights, "The Rip Tide" and "Goshen," are ostensibly simple, but their complexity comes through on each subsequent listen. The former, full of sparse brass, is lonely yet dense. Conversely, the latter seems like a straightforward piano ballad, though its sweeping horn and choral harmonies would disagree. A deeply considerate composer, Condon's unique balance of influences has always dominated the Beirut ethos. However, on The Rip Tide he re-focuses his curiosity, taking time for reflection and creating an entirely beautiful and insightful record in the process.
FeaturesSep 28, 2015
Empress OfPortrait of the Artist
Not 15 minutes into my phone call with Lorely Rodriguez, the mastermind behind electro-pop project Empress Of, a stranger passing her front ...
StreamsSep 28, 2015
Anamai"Abris" on Exclaim! TV
Anamai is an experimental neo-folk endeavour lead by Anna Mayberry (HSY) and produced by David Psutka (Hiawatha, Egyptrixx). The rest of the...
NewsSep 28, 2015
Bob Moses Fuse Songwriting with Circuitry on 'Days Gone By'
When it came time to record Days Gone By, their debut full-length for Domino, Brooklyn-via-Vancouver duo Bob Moses looked to build on the ha...
StreamsSep 25, 2015
Dirty Frigs"Toss" on Exclaim! TV
Dirty Frigs are a Toronto-based four-piece who resurrect the spirit of Link Wray and other early axe-wielders to conjure the dark and distor...
FeaturesSep 25, 2015
OughtThe Void Is Listening
After releasing their acclaimed debut album More Than Any Other Day in 2014, Ought found themselves touring practically non-stop, playing sh...
NewsSep 25, 2015
Disclosure Discuss the Piano Origins of 'Caracal,' Address "Hater" Purists
It might be hard to imagine, but Disclosure didn't start the songs on their new album Caracal with samples or synth beats; they sat down at ...
FeaturesSep 24, 2015
New Order'Complete' Return
New Order never officially broke up. And chances are they never will. But after co-founder/bassist Peter Hook left acrimoniously in 2007, th...
FeaturesSep 23, 2015
The Folk"Forgive Me" on Exclaim! TV
The Folk are a six-piece with a curio cabinet of eccentric sounds at their disposal; their collection of alternative rock tunes contains tra...