Beirut Returns from Norway with ‘Hadsel,’ First Album in Four Years

Alex H. Krinsky on August 30, 2023
Beirut Returns from Norway with ‘Hadsel,’ First Album in Four Years

Photo by Lina Gaisser

Indie-folk singer-songwriter Zach Condon, also known as Beirut, has returned with Hadsel, his first album release in four years. The project comes after the musician embarked on an expedition to the remote landscapes of Norway and is set to release on Nov. 10 via Beirut’s own label, Pompeii Records.

Condon’s retreat to the eponymous Norwegian island catalyzed the album’s inception. Following the cancellation of his 2019 tour due to persistent throat complications, Condon found refuge in a cabin on Hadsel, where an adjacent church organ awaited his artistic sparked the embers of his first LP since 2019’s Gallipoli.

“In the duration of my stay in Hadsel, I dedicated myself to the music, ensnared in a trance-like state, navigating my own mental unraveling that I had long evaded since adolescence,” conveyed Condon in a statement.

“It emerged and enveloped me like the resonance of a bell. Amidst the spectacular theater of nature—the ethereal dance of the Northern Lights and the formidable theatrics of storms—I grappled with myriad aspects of my past and present,” he added. “The ephemeral daylight hours unveiled the ineffable grandeur of mountains and fjords, while the extended twilight hours infused me with a subdued exhilaration. I’d like to believe that this very landscape is imbued within the music.”

In conjunction with the unveiling of Hadsel, Condon has shared a foretaste in the form of the album’s inaugural single, “So Many Plans,” complemented by an accompanying visualizer that captures the frigid Arctic ambiance of the track. Sonically, the track is a vivid reminder of Condon’s distinct and warm timbre deeply rooted in his vocals, brass and arrangement.

“In this composition, I found a harmonious equilibrium among sentiments of acceptance, aspiration, and surrender,” Condon appended. “The lyrics arose from a lament born amidst the throes of the Covid era, organically evolving into a succinct lullaby. The instrumentation ventured into novel territories for me, as I dusted off an unused baritone ukulele, integrating it with the album’s principal tools, which spanned a church or pump organ and a modular synthesizer, serving as both percussive and bass elements.”

Pre-order Hadsel here.

Listen to “So Many Plans” below.

Hadsel Track List
1. “Hadsel”
2. “Arctic Forest”
3. “Baion”
4. “So Many Plans”
5. “Melbu”
6. “Stokmarknes”
7. “Island Life”
8. “Spillhaugen”
9. “January 18th”
10. “Süddeutsches Ton-Bild-Studio”
11. “The Tern”
12. “Regulatory”