Beirut’s blend of folk and world music (especially Balkan folk music) gives them a distinctive sound that makes them unique.
For me their stand out record is the Lon Gisland EP which comes with the UK release of Gulag Orkestar. In it’s five tracks it manages to blend and condense all the things that make Beirut great. A perfect starting point for any new listener.
As Lon Gisland’s opening track, Elephant Gun manages to mix the great folk stylings and tempos of Balkan folk. Everything falls into place as soon as the hopeful yet mournful melody of the brass section starts to develop: