Beirut, aka the worldly indie band started by Zach Condon, has announced his first new album in more than four years. (Not counting 2021’s Artifacts, a double-album collection of unreleased tracks, EPs, and B-sides.) Out November 10 on Condon’s own Pompeii Records, Hadsel is written, recorded, and performed by Condon, and named for the Northern Norwegian island where the performer spent time in 2020. In tandem with the album’s announcement, Condon is sharing lead single “So Many Plans.”
While on the island of Hadsel in early 2020, Condon met a “fellow organ enthusiast” named Oddvar, who let Condon explore the local Hadselkirke (Hadsel Church). According to a release, the structure contained a church organ, which provided the foundation for Hadsel.
Here’s how Condon describes his time in Hadsel:
During my time in Hadsel, I worked hard on the music, lost in a trance and stumbling blindly through my own mental collapse that I had been pushing aside since I was a teenager. It came and rang me like a bell. I was left agonising many things past and present while the beauty of the nature, the northern lights and fearsome storms played an awesome show around me. The few hours of light would expose the unfathomable beauty of the mountains and the fjords, and the hours-long twilights would fill me with subdued excitement. I’d like to believe that scenery is somehow present in the music.
Of “So Many Plans,” Condon adds: “I liked that this song struck a balance between the feelings of acceptance, hope and giving up. The lyric came from a covid-times lament that rolled effortlessly into a kind of short lullaby. The instruments were somewhat unusual for me at the time, having dusted off a baritone uke I never used before to join the album’s primary instruments of either pump or church organ and the modular synthesizer as percussion and bass.”
Listen to “So Many Plans” below.
02 “Arctic Forest”
04 “So Many Plans”
07 “Island Life”
09 “January 18th”
10 “Süddeutsches Ton-Bild-Studio”
11 “The Tern”
Hadsel will be out 11/10 via Pompeii Records. Pre-order it here.