The Rip Tide
In the four years since his band’s last album, Beirut’s Zach Condon has scaled back his boozy Balkan folk music to a finely tuned stroll through a gypsy carnival. Actually, it sounds more like the day after the carnival pulled out of town. Still building his songs on a shaky foundation of woozy accordions, saloon pianos, and mournful horns, Santa Fe native Condon finds 19th century Europe via a more contemporary map on The Rip Tide. Electronic whooshes surge through “Santa Fe,” and the rhythmic marches of several songs are more in step with other adventurous indie rockers. On the album’s best tracks, “East Harlem” and “Goshen,” Beirut split the difference between the old and new worlds, still steeped in traditionalism but with a spark of 21st century modernism.