A contributing member of the glorious Flying Club Cup (the musicians that make up Beirut helmed by young musical mastermind Zach Condon) Brandon Bethancourt is in charge of where he winters. He takes the sounds inspired by those of Beirut, but mixes in a lot of vocoder voice effects and electronic elements to make this beautiful, somber, old world Europe-flavored album that has hints of the future.
If you're into that old world sound, but want a little more updated effects added, give Alaska In Winter a try. It's not happy music (as the title suggests) but it will force you to slow your pace, look at your life and the world around you - and appreciate the small, simple things you may be taking for granted.
"The Homeless And The Hummingbirds" kicks things off on the right foot. Slow, almost haunting piano and country/mariachi horns underscoring soft vocals. Once the drum machine beat kicks in you're up to your ears in beauty.
The mostly instrumental "Balkan Low Rider Anthem" is a brooding highlight on this wonderful album. The rolling piano and creepy violin mix makes for a David Lynchian lsd trip on a cold winter's day.
One of the best parts of the album is how each song swiftly flows into the next. You hardly know you have changed tracks until each songs' drumbeat kicks in. If you enjoy the style that Beirut has brought to the public eye, but also like the experimental sounds of the Magnetic Fields, it may be time for you to visit Alaska In Winter.
"Close Your Eyes" Live
"Dance Party In The Balkins" Live