Uplifting, inspiring, additive: Beirut's latest single 'Santa Fe' is all of those things and more. It is one of those late summer songs that force us to recollect the last few months, sigh sadly and wish we had just a few more playful days in the sun before winter creeps in. Not that Santa Fe is a sad song, in fact it is the very opposite, but whether it means to or not it does manage to press the right buttons when it comes to reminiscing about the sun-soaked days of yesteryear.
The song itself is a bouncy, trumpet-laden slice of pop magnificence. The melody is formidably catchy, as are the instrumental sections (the horns are an inspired touch, lending the track an air of Spanish authenticity) which provide the song with a lift after the humble chorus. The drums kick in perfectly and the rhythm section should be applauded for its substantial contribution to the track. Zach Condon's soft, at times operatic vocal might not be to everyone's taste initially, but repeat listens will straighten that out: his voice is integral to Beirut's sound.
But what is the track saying? We could interpret singer Zach Condon's lyrics as a love letter to Santa Fe. Some of the album The Rip Tide was recorded in the New Mexico capital and this would be a safe, obvious explanation, but the fact remains that the lyrics are vague and mysterious. All this talk of calling your son and someone being on a cross - there is definitely a religious flavour to the song.
But whatever is going on under the surface, it's hard not to love Santa Fe. This track is a triumph; a proper treat. Joyous on the ears and essential listening for anyone with a taste for unique pop, you might even recall a few long-forgotten summer memories while listening to it. Fingers crossed Beirut keep up the good work.