I’ve been here at the Ojai Valley School for five years now. During those four years spent at the upper campus, there have been countless moments that have been so deeply engrained into my fondest of memories. From exclusive dances on the girls dorm lawn to laying under the stars with good friends, debating the purpose of our existence, this school has grown to shape the person that I am today more than any other single influence. And throughout my time here, there has been one artist that has done the same.

Beirut is the extended band of Zach Condon from New Mexico. Zach plays the ukulele, trumpet, euphonium, mandolin, accordion, various keyboard instruments, and a modified conch shell and the rest of his band plays instruments from the cello to the glockenspiel. It’s needless to say that they create a unique sound.

How can you not enjoy his voice? It’s so beautiful. This man, this band has stayed in my top favorite artists for four years now. All of their songs are timeless. They’re what inspired me to play ukulele, and I can not boast that I know every ukulele song of theirs by heart. I actually just took an hour break off writing this to practice their songs and attempt to sing, and the singing honestly did not go well.

Every time I hear Postcards From Italy, I think of former OVS student Tony Lim and Jeung Soo trying to sing me it over the phone on an early Sunday morning and every time I hear Elephant Gun I think of Andrew Town and Austin Jacobson performing it live at our festival of talent. Every single moment connected with their songs is wonderful in its own way, and couldn’t ever be overplayed or irritating to me.

If you haven’t downloaded any of their music, you seriously should consider it. Not only are they amazing tracks, but the live recording are even more spectacular. It’s rare to find an artist so universal. Here’s a link to download one of their albums for free.

Or if you don’t wish to download it, at least watch the street performance above. It will wash you away like this:

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