Beirut Shares Previously Unreleased “So Slowly” From Artifacts

Zach Condon, the mastermind behind Beirut, recently announced the release of Artifacts, a double-LP’s worth of music that traces the evolution of Beirut from a 14-year old Condon’s first attempts at bringing the music he heard in his mind to life, to the fully formed Beirut we know today. He has continued to share some of his previously unreleased tracks today with “So Slowly,” a gorgeous and uplifting piano-driven song that highlights Condon’s ingenuity in unearthing unique musical instruments such as the conch in this case.

Listen to “So Slowly” HERE 

Says Condon, “I had a few years where all I wanted to play was the Wurlitzer for some reason. I actually first wrote this song on a white baby grand piano that was surprisingly cheap. Apparently white pianos lost their popularity as a status symbol in the thick carpeted living rooms of the 70s. I was particularly proud of the conch shell “brass section” I arranged behind the first vocal parts, using a self made horn from a huge conch shell my parents had picked up in Key West when they were still young and wild, before me and my brothers were born.”  He continues, “After I dropped out of highschool, I began work at a local frame shop building antique gilded frames for all the galleries in town. And when I found out how the shells, along with human femur bones, were used as early brass instruments, I took it to the frame shop to consider how to make it playable. In a moment of inspiration and impulsivity I proceeded to belt sand off the end of the shell, then drimmeled out the rough shape of a trumpet mouthpiece into the spiraled opening. It worked out better than I had imagined. I had used the shell for the opening piece of “The Flying Club Cup” already, but decided to take it to the next level on this song, letting out every sound I could conceive of it making and stacking it up to resemble rough harmonies. Nick Petree held down the rhythm section beautifully and we traded off on hand drum parts like proper Santa Fe hippies. I’d like to think this may be the first song to contain melodies done on both a prepared piano and a conch shell. I never knew where to place this song until now.”   

Artifacts began humbly as a means of compiling a few early Beirut EPs for a proper physical release. However, as Condon explains in the album’s excellent liner notes, reconnecting with old recordings through fresh ears turned a simple re-issue project into something much more expansive. “When the decision came to re-release this collection, I found myself digging through hard drives looking for something extra to add to the compilation. What started as a few extra unreleased tracks from my formative recording years quickly grew into an entire extra records-worth of music from my past, and a larger project of remixing and remastering everything I found for good measure.” See full tracklisting below. Artifacts will be released digitally on January 28, 2022 and physically on March 4, 2022 via Condon’s Pompeii Records. Pre-order is available HERE.

“So Slowly” follows Condon sharing the previously unreleased song “Fisher Island Sound,” listen HERE.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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