When Beirut’s Zach Condon emerged from his Albuquerque, N.M., bedroom at the age of 19, floating an almost absurdly mature croon and an unnatural mastery of world music, he was quickly hailed as the second coming of Neutral Milk Hotel. He spent the next four years repeatedly failing to disappoint. In addition to the lofty vocals, Condon also performs trumpet and ukulele duties on his records; the only reason he doesn’t also chime in on guitar is that his wrist can’t physically reach around the instrument’s neck. Last year, Condon canceled a summer tour, explaining that he wanted any show he performed to be “as good as humanly possible.” He appears to have spent his youth plundering for international influences: His debut album, 2006’s Gulag Orkestar, was inspired by Balkan folk; his second, Lon Gisland, ticked off Parisian pop. In his third effort, March of the Zapotec/Holland (a double EP, of course), Condon collects them all but layers on the sounds of Mexican wedding and funeral processions with the help of a 19-piece local orchestra he found on a jaunt to Oaxaca. Another addition to Condon’s repertoire is perhaps more age-appropriate: This time, he plays with electronica, too.
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