Roughly around the time that I was dedicating most of my time to teenage angst and emo music, Zach Condon was doing something slightly more constructive and arguably cooler (by a very slim margin, of course). Pre-dating the Balkan folk style that distinguishes Beirut's music, The Joys of Losing Weight was an unreleased album that Condon had put together at age fifteen under the moniker of The Real People. I read that Zach had some solo material before Beirut, but I didn't know of the digital availability of The Joys of Losing Weight until recently (Thanks, Nate!). When I started listening to "Untitled 18," I felt like I was given a rare glimpse into Zach's musical development. For one, the track opens with a beautiful guitar intro, which is something I did not expect from him. But, this album is from a time when Condon was still able to wrap his wrist around a guitar, before he underwent surgery and traded in the guitar for a ukulele. Although I absolutely adore the uke and Beirut is my inspiration for buying one, I didn't miss it one bit in this bossa nova-inspired track. As a fan of Beirut, I think it's exciting to hear something that is distinctively different, even if it was from seven years ago.
Beirut explores more of this project with their Realpeople Holland EP, which is currently available for download with the March of Zapotec EP. Grab the rest of The Joys of Losing Weight here. Beirut plays three shows this week, one at MHOW and two at BAM. I may possibly have an extra ticket to MHOW, if there are any takers.
Yes, this was a pre-show hype post. I can't help it, I am so stoked to see them. My fingers are crossed for one of the following events to occur:
1. "Transatlantique" is on the set list. Unlikely but not impossible.
2. Beirut plays rarities from The Joys of Losing Weight. Highly unlikely and pretty impossible.
3. Owen Pallett or Ed Droste join Beirut for "Cliquot." I must be insane for wasting a wish on this one.
Untitled 18 - The Real People (Zach Condon) | Alternative Link