Remember when Beirut put out Gulag Orkestar in 2006 and charmed listeners with “Elephant Gun”? How about that time Beirut released The Flying Club Cup in 2007 and everyone collectively swooned to “Postcards From Italy”? Or when Beirut released The Rip Tide in 2011 and “East Harlem” lit up porches during summer parties long after the sun had set?
Oh, how we’ve missed those sweet, sweet horns.
On “No No No”, the band’s first single in four years, Beirut take to their usual places for summertime romance and European flair. Vocal melodies led by the eternally amiable Zach Condon bloom when joined by the musical harmonies of the horn section, turning an otherwise slow-turning song into the kind of low key number that lights your heart with friendliness and contentedness. Beirut have finally returned with new music and it sounds better than expected.
In the “No No No” music video, Beirut take over a salmon-colored room to perform. There are a lot of pretty shots and on-camera dolling up, not out of place in a Wes Anderson movie. But as the camera begins to repeat its shots, pulling from the left to the right for a wider frame, things begin to change. The drummer looks more stoic. They’re all dressed in thin ponchos and striped bed sheets. A taxidermy skunk sits idly on the floor. After each bizarre take, those same two-letter words, NO, flash across the screen. If we didn’t know better, we would say this is an anti-advertisement of how not to make a music video. Of course, playing a baguette instead of a french horn (or simply playing nothing instead of your french horn) is rather entertaining, as are the shots of band members getting sick.
Prepare yourself for the glory of the album, No No No, in full when it comes out September 11 via 4AD.