March of the Zapotec

Beirut’s bandleader Zach Condon thought: What about finding a local band in a small city in Mexico, hiring them to play some new material, and recording the result? He found the band through a bandmate’s mother who has connections in Oaxaca. To communicate with the performers, he hired a translator, who had to be able to speak English, Spanish, as well as Zapotec, the band members’ native language. From there, he flew down to Oaxaca, traveling a half-hour out of town to the tiny weaver village of Teotitlan del Valle, where he met the nineteen members of The Jimenez Band.

This album, March of the Zapotec, is further testament toward the inventiveness and intimacy he creates and has developed into a particular style and sound. Whether he’s being inspired by Balkan folk, French chanteuse, Mexican troubadour, ’80s synth pop, or ’90s house, the common thread remains Condon’s ability to personalize the sound. March of the Zapotec marks the continuing emergence of a musician who has only shown an inkling of where he is headed.

Watch the video (click Watch in high quality) or listen to La Llorona right here (one of the album’s five tracks):

Interview with Zach Condon (& photo) | Other Beirut’s music videos