July 3rd, 2008 5:33 pm | by NILINA MASON-CAMPBELL Music | Posted In: Cut of the Day

Little Beirut, "Belle du Jour," High Dive

littlebeirut It would appear that any band or artist worth their weight in plastic has a summer song. From Will Smith's "Summer Time" to Bananarama's "Cruel Summer"—and locally, YACHT's "Summer Song" (plus so many more)—it's definitely a popular season to write songs about. Little Beirut has one, too. The nostalgic ruminations of "Belle du Jour" are propped up by skittering and danceable guitar riffs. For a split second, the initial drum beats actually remind me a little of Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark, and it actually isn't the first song to appear as Cut of the Day that has brought OMD to mind.

Little Beirut's Edwin Paroissien gives us the lowdown on the origins of this track from music to lyrics:

This song came together as they often do for us – a moment of inspiration in the process of revision. I know some bands find what they're looking for the first time, or want to preserve the spontaneity of the initial moment; more often than not, we like to record practices and change things around A LOT before we consider a song finished. The first iteration of the song had all the same chord changes and a similar melody, but was loud, fast and guitar based. It never really stood out as such and was kinda dwindling in the background. One evening around Christmas when our drummer was out of town I put the drum machine on a simple loop to keep time and tried slowing the tempo down several BPM. The three of us tranced out on the loop for a long time and after a while Jon fell into a bouncier bass line, I tapped into a melodic texture for the verses and Hamilton found new melodies. No longer bored with it, we put the song through the usual paces, altered the structure somewhat, got Alex to rock out the chorus drum-wise to elevate the part… With a more focused feel to draw inspiration from, Hamilton came up with his lyrics, the verses of which to me bear a certain nostalgia for drinking and doing drugs as a teenager in the Western Massachusetts summers, always somehow avoiding the constant hassling of the Smith College rent-a-cops. So I consider this a summer song. I don't know exactly what he's going for; I prefer not to be told, so I can keep my interpretations for myself.


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