For those wondering when new Beirut material might bless your ears, fret not. Paul Collins, Beirut’s bassist has started a new project called Soft Landing. While on a break from touring with Beirut in Brazil, he stole fellow bandmate, accordionist Perrin Cloutier and a friend from college. They spent every waking moment while on break to write and practice.
When all was said and done, they had enough material for an LP, which they recorded in Chicago with Griffin Rodriguez (frontman of Icy Demons). The album is due out this Fall on BaDaBing Records (Beirut, Shearwater, Sharon Von Etten, Damon & Naomi, WOOM, etc.).
I’m happy to share a track from that album with you here. It’s called “Baptism,” and it’s good.
“Baptism” – Mp3
In just one song, we discover a sound very distinct from Condon’s, though not a world apart by any means. There is still an infatuation with international sounds, wide influences, infectious songwriting. They enjoy their instruments and play them well. The music, the writing, it is for real, not extra-cirricular. The music swells and simmers, drums roll forward fervently, guitars wash over us, and everything just feels easy breezy.
Collins holds his own as frontman here, too, though his vim and conviction as bassist for Beirut makes this no surprise. Vocally, I’m reminded a touch of Goeff Farina of Karate fame, which is a good thing. Slightly flat notes (on purpose!) and a quasi-croon floating with an injured wing over the compositional gaps are welcome and distinctive. I like it. Do you?
If this first song is any indication, their self-titled debut should stand on its own in the way Daniel Rossen’s Department of Eagles project succeeded a couple years back. The question will be whether Soft Landing can keep up this prolificness while double dipping in two active bands. I’m sure several multi-act independent artists wish cloning were commonplace, then they could tour in two places at the same time. Imagine that!
July 14th – The Rock Shop, Brooklyn
July 23rd – Denver Biennial, Denver
July 30th – Bruar Falls, Brooklyn