Beirut released two EPs earlier this week: March of the Zapotec and Holland. Similar to what Bright Eyes did with Digital Ash/I'm Wide Awake, the EPs are split stylistically between a more acoustic sound (March) versus electronic (Holland). The former is typical Zach Condon except this time Eastern Europe is replaced by Mexico in terms of musical influence. In fact, Zach went to Oaxaca, Mexico where he recorded several songs in a small village with a 19 piece collective known as the Jimenez Band.
Despite the fact that Holland may seem far removed from Beirut's previously released albums, it's actually much closer to his original roots as a musician. When Beirut first starting recording music in his bedroom while in high school, he was primarily composing electronic music. It wasn't until he left America to travel throughout Europe that he began to write the style of music that has now become much more closely associated with him. The kind that is deeply influenced by the cultures he immerses himself in.
"The Akara" is a track from March of the Zapotec. It starts off much like "Gulag Orkestar" with it's funeral march-like trumpets followed by a slightly happier tune. Given that this was recorded in Mexico, it's a perfect display of the cultures philosophies on death in that it is something to both mourn and celebrate.
Favorite Part: The trumpets that play throughout the song provided by the local band. I think it's way cool that he actually used an authentic group of musicians rather than come back to the States and hire random people to simply recreate the sound.