Released in 2006, Beirut's first effort, Gulag Orkestar, appeared on every critic's year-end list. Its heady mix of Eastern European sounds, American folk music and Western pop owes everything to band leader Zach Condon. At 17, the Santa Fe native started traveling around Europe, where he took in all manner of cultural influences-French culture and French songs loom large on the second album, The Flying Club Cup, which was recorded at Arcade Fire's home studio. In 2009, Beirut unveiled the double EP March of the Zapotec/Holland. The Rip Tide followed two years later.