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.