Many fans were left wondering if the band, in its current form as a 9- to 12-person orchestra, might be kaput. Our own John Norris posted pics on Newsroom of a wandering Zach playing with mariachis in Mexico. And finally, just last week, Zach gave an interview to Seattle’s “The Stranger” in which he set the record straight: the boy just needed some time off to write new music. “It’s funny,” Zach said. “I wanted to make this record, and I realized there was no way I could actually do it if I was still doing these tours.”
So there’s new Beirut material on the way! Maybe by year’s end! An EP’s worth of material already complete…
…some of which was unveiled just last night during a last-minute show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg that we were at.
Brooklyn Vegan nabbed a snapshot of the written set list, which, though not followed precisely during the show, contains new song titles such as “My Wife,” “The Shrew” and “Benito Juarez.” We can tell you that all these new tunes embody the “funeral march” vibe that Condon said Beirut was heading towards. More than that, the songs display Condon’s quickly maturing songwriting and knack for swirling orchestration. (Somewhere Sufjan Stevens is quaking in his boots…)
At one point during the Music Hall set, Zach announced, “Beirut is forever!” Then added, for any naysayers left in the room, “We’re not going anywhere — we’re just going on a sabbatical.”
So everyone can quit worrying.
If you haven’t yet, pick up last year’s terrific Beirut album Flying Club Cup. And you can learn more about Zach’s songwriting process from this MTV News interview: