Beirut - “Gallipoli”
Few tracks ring with such visceral, bursting inspiration as does the song, “Gallipoli,” from Beirut. It’s the title track from the album, which was recorded in Italy’s countryside and written in one sitting by the band’s leader Zach Condon. What created such a flurry of creativity? Condon tells NPR that after driving into the town of Gallipoli on a whim, they came upon a religious procession. Condon describes walking “in at the exact moment as the Saint was leaving the church, carried by a bunch of priests. Behind them was this frenetic kind of brass band. [Sound] was bouncing off the walls, and simultaneously every church bell in town was ringing, which just made for utter chaos.” With soaring horns and driving drum beats, this deceptively complex track promises to be an incredible live experience. Catch them at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Feb. 28.
Shy Girls - “Hallelujah”
Former Portlander Dan Vidmar had the kind of early success with his alternative R&B project, Shy Girls, that many bands dream of. His debut EP, “Timeshare,” propelled him onto tours with international acts like Haim and Little Dragon before he ever released his full-length debut, “Salt” in 2017. Since then, he’s kept a relatively low profile while living and doing session work in Los Angeles. But, last week, Vidmar shared the reimagined single, “Hallelujah,” along with an accompanying video. He originally recorded the track six years ago, but came back to to it with a fresh perspective. Where the original was funky, this version is quiet and introspective.
Jealous of the Birds - “Marrow”
Jealous of the Birds’ Naomi Hamilton is quickly making a name for herself as a prolific songwriter whose poignant lyrics make you listen again and again. That’s not surprising since she’s a creative writing grad with “notebooks of poetry” to draw upon for inspiration. After a summer release, “The Moths of What I Want Will Eat Me in My Sleep,” she’s about to share a new EP entitled “Wisdom Teeth” in February of 2019. “Marrow” is the first track from the album and explores themes of “navigating ones inner and outer worlds.” This idea unfolds in the new song. Verses are marked by open space in which her husky vocals shine, almost harkening to an acapella performance. Meanwhile, the chorus builds a vast momentum through sweeping instrumentation. A native of Northern Ireland, her tour dates are mostly in the UK. For the next best thing, you can preorder the album here.