Zach Condon's music often parallels the exotic mysteries of world travel. Since Beirut's last album, 2007's The Flying Club Cup, sang a love-letter to France (with a 2009 stop-off in Mexico for the March of the Zapotec EP), many asked where his songs would voyage next, but few predicted the inward journey Condon takes on The Rip Tide, an album with the most introspective and memorable songs of his young career. Recorded in Upstate New York, Brooklyn and, of course, Condon's hometowns of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, The Rip Tide marks a distinct leaping-off point for Beirut. Beginning life as small melodies conceived on piano or ukulele, the songs were built upon by the entire band in the studio before Condon's paring down and retrofitting. The results sound like they were recorded in a single session, with exciting rhythms matching the upbeat horns and contrasting the mournful strings. No direct geographical affiliation was exhumed; rather, the style that emerges belongs uniquely and distinctly to Beirut-one that has been hinted at all along.