Beirut Unveils Previously Unreleased Song ‘So Slowly’

    Beirut has unveiled the previously unreleased song ‘So Slowly’, which is set to appear on the forthcoming album Artifacts. The double LP compiles unreleased tracks, early works, EPs, and B-sides tracing the project’s evolution and is out January 28 via frontman Zach Condon’s own Pompeii Records. Give a listen to ‘So Slowly’ below.

    “I had a few years where all I wanted to play was the Wurlitzer for some reason. I actually first wrote this song on a white baby grand piano that was surprisingly cheap,” Condon explained in a press release. “Apparently white pianos lost their popularity as a status symbol in the thick carpeted living rooms of the 70s. I was particularly proud of the conch shell ‘brass section’ I arranged behind the first vocal parts, using a self-made horn from a huge conch shell my parents had picked up in Key West when they were still young and wild, before me and my brothers were born.” He continued:

    After I dropped out of high school, I began work at a local frame shop building antique gilded frames for all the galleries in town. And when I found out how the shells were used as early brass instruments, I took it to the frame shop to consider how to make it playable. In a moment of inspiration I proceeded to belt sand off the end of the shell, then drilled out the rough shape of a trumpet mouthpiece into the spiralled opening. It worked out better than I had imagined. I had used the shell for the opening piece of ‘The Flying Club Cup’ already, but decided to take it to the next level on this song, letting out every sound I could conceive of it making and stacking it up to resemble rough harmonies. I’d like to think this may be the first song to contain melodies done on both a prepared piano and a conch shell. I never knew where to place this song until now.

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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