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Beirut, ‘The Flying Club Cup’ (Ba Da Bing)

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Zach Condon of the band Beirut performs during 2013 Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall's Island on June 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

Trading the DIY approach of his debut for an actual eight-piece band, the sophomore album from youthful, neo-Gypsy multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon has the makings of a hokey, pretentious mess. His melodramatic singing echoes the grand excesses of Rufus Wainwright, and the woozy thrift-shop brass recalls a shabby Balkan cabaret, with ukulele, glockenspiel, and other offbeat accompaniment filling in the spaces. What’s more, The Flying Club Cup is an unironic homage to France, intending to evoke a different city on each song. Amazingly, it adds up to great fun: Condon’s goofy sincerity is endearing (shades of David Byrne), and Beirut actually rock, in their extremely geeky way.

Now Hear This: Beirut – “A Sunday Smile” DOWNLOAD MP3