News: Beirut to release a double set of early and rare material, ‘Artifacts’, in the spring; delight in ‘Fisher Island Sound’

Zach Condon, of Beirut, photographed by Lina Gaisser

ZACH CONDON’s gorgeous Beirut are set to release an overview of their early years next spring – a project whch has burgeoned from a collection of early EPs into a full-on, 26-track set.

The collection, Artifacts, began to grow in ambition as Zach went digging through the archives. He picks up the thread: “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 record’s worth of music from my past, and a larger project of remixing and remastering everything I found for good measure.”

And to entice you hither, Zach’s shared the previously unreleased nugget “Fisher Island Sound”, which features on the new collection. Take a listen, below.

Zach says: “This song was written while staying in band member Ben Lanz’s old family cottage on the coast of Connecticut, on the Fisher Island Sound. I played with the lines for years before trying to record versions of it in Brooklyn with the band.

“Perrin Cloutier had taught himself how to play a new button accordion beautifully, and the band was really sounding their best. I however, struggled in those years to put vocals on the songs and ended up scrapping a lot of the music from that era in this part of the collection due to fear, stress and self-doubt.

“I’ve come to rediscover some of these old songs in a different light since then, but they do remain a heavy reminder of unsteady times.” Beautiful though, ain’t it? Zach: you’re way too hard on yourself.

Artifacts will be released as a 2xLP set, and comes themed across a quartet of sides. Side A centres on that debut EP for Ba Da Bing!, Lon Gisland, and connected works, and of course features the marvellous “Elephant Gun”, alongside “Scenic World”, “O Leãozinho” and others; side B is entitled “The Misfits” and collects together overlooked gems such as “Autumn Tall Tales”, “Fyodor Dormant” and “Poisoning Claude”; side C dives into “New Directions and Early Works”, unearthing gems from back into Zach’s teen years; and side D rounds things off with a selection of B-sides.

Beirut’s Artifacts will be released digitally on January 28th, 2022 on Pompeii Records with the physical release following on March 4th. There’s all kinds of merch bundling, too. Pre-order your copy here.

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