Wednesday, September 1, 2010

CD review: Little Beirut

Fear of Heaven by Little Beirut
Written for Performer Magazine, September 2010

Portland-based quartet Little Beirut has created the perfect soundtrack for a warm summer evening with their third album, Fear of Heaven. The music is a delightful combination of pop melodies and soft indie instrumentals with just enough rock to keep things interesting. The vocals are always shifting; sometimes they bring to mind Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie, at other times Ezra Koenig of Vampire. But no matter which pop or indie vocalist lead singer Hamilton Sims' voice reminds you of, it is a great match for the music at hand.

The opening track "Last Light" starts off twinkling and mellow, but quickly builds momentum and evolves into a fast-packed rocker before alternating back to soft and peaceful. Then the second track, "Cosmic Waitress," begins with hooky handclaps. The rest of the disc is very similar - just when you think you've got the sound pinned down to one style or tempo, it changes again. Occasionally the songs start to blend together, but ultimately, the constant switches save the album from becoming too monotonous.

Fear of Heaven will certainly have all of Portland's indie hipsters singing along and tapping their feet in no time. (Self-released) // Read the review on Performer's site.


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