Song of the Day: Beirut – A Sunday Smile

Beirut live on KEXP at Engine Studios in Chicago 10/3/07
photo by Susana Meza

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is A Sunday Smile by Beirut from the 2007 album The Flying Club Cup on Ba Da Bing Records.

Beirut – A Sunday Smile (MP3)

It has been a quick rise to fame for the young Zach Condon, the leader of Beirut. Over the last two years, he’s released a string of albums and EPs, all evoking a different place in time and in the world. On Flying Club Cup Condon moves from the Balkan-inspired Gulag Orkestar to focus on the baroque-pop and chansons of France. Each song on the album pays homage to a different French city. Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallet helped out with string arrangements on half the record, assisting Condon with a plethora of new instruments and more mature, more focused song structures. The vocals are, once again, unforgettable as Condon navigates his band and his listeners between full-on orchestral numbers and ethereal ballads. Beirut is currently touring across Europe and barring any further bouts with exhaustion will hopefully visit the states in support of the recently-released album. For the most current information, head over to the band’s MySpace page. Also, in case you missed it, check out Beirut’s recent feature on KEXP, where you can still download the podcast of the band live from Chicago’s Engine Studios. For now, check out this video for oft-take-away song Siki Siki Baba from a May performance at the Bowery:

Speaking of take-away songs, here’s a fantastic video from the outstanding “Take-Away” series from La Blogotheque of “The Penalty”:

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