Since releasing their debut album 'Gulag Orkestar' back in 2006, US indie-folk outfit Beirut have always looked to take inspiration from other cultures in order to influence their sound on each particular record. While that release saw them adopt a more Eastern European focus, their latest full-length 'Gallipoli' is clearly marked more towards the Italian town and its surrounding southern neighbours. Yet while Zach Condon continue to scour the globe for new and exciting dimensions to their music, this release still manages to maintain plenty of their core sound as they move elegantly forward.
With a distinctly more brass-filled release than we have heard from the group, 'Gallipoli' still delivers that same Beirut melancholia that we are all used to be now. Keeping their wistful and atmospheric direction very much at the centre of this new record, the band are able to add their own eccentricities around it, creating something familiar but with just enough flair to give it a whole new identity. The album's title-track along with subsequent single 'Varieties Of Exile' seem to instil the intent of this new collection rather masterfully, adopting lesser seen instruments such as the woodblock metronome and Farfisa organ to give the record a diverse and expansive sound like we have never from them before.
A wonderful return from a group that seem to be able to do no wrong. Each track seems to have its own personality on this new release, creating a well-rounded yet eclectic style that enables pace and focus throughout. It may not have the same musical tone as their previous releases, but 'Gallipoli' is Beirut to its core, and demonstrates just how beautifully expressive they are in the process.