From Chicago, Illinois, Griffo & Lord, a name as interesting as their peculiar story, released a while back a 9-track project named Splice. One song in particular, Prince of Beirut, strikes as a DownTempo showpiece with Ambient undertones. The record relies on acute imagery depiction glorified in its atmosphere by the uncompromisingly mysterious instrumental.
“When we set out to create Splice, we thought what would happen if we wrote the names of 18 of our favorite musical artists on strips of paper, placed them in a hat, drew out two at a time, and attempted to write songs based on those random pairings? What would a Tom Waits + The White Stripes collaboration sound like? How about the unlikely combination of Curtis Mayfield + DEVO? We were fortunate to work with some of Chicago’s top musical talent, such as JC Brooks, Packy Lundholm, and Liz Luthier, with the resulting LP of “imaginary collaborations” having dropped in late May 2021, largely constructed remotely by the artists during the pandemic,” share the two exclusively for Blue Rhymez Entertainment.
We want you to think back to 2014. Uhm, yeah?! We’re assuming you were alive by then. If you were not, you need to hand back your phone to mommy.
Indie music had a special spotlight in the hearts of billions across the world around that time. Names like Lorde, The Neighbourhood, Lykke Li were highly favored and extremely sought after even in the unlikeliest of places. Yup, nightclubs were playing the ish out of indie music 8 years ago. Well, today’s song is cousin with those but mixed with Gen Z nostalgia. In case you don’t hang out on TikTok, Gen Z loves being melancholic even when we’re talking happy feelings. Thus Prince of Beirut goes hand in hand with the moodiness of the world. A 2-year pandemic and a war impacting all of us will do that.
The introductory synth tricks the listener into thinking this might be a jovial thing. A master of brooding vibes and grandiose setups, the cello lets us know otherwise. The drums meticulously fill in the spaces from the sides letting the curt piano notes take the lead role. Slowly revealing itself from afar, the voice of Matt Griffo sings in whimsical tones: She knew what the night had in store/ Long before she walked through my back door/ Trouble resting like perfume on her wrist/ The party trembling in a manicured first/ Wind Venetian streets with me, care feet on cobblestone/ Lose ourselves to the madness, at once all alone.
The musical ensemble is remarkably rich and masterfully executed. And if you scroll down to the credits, you will appreciate the feeling of oneness transmitted by Prince of Beirut because boy, that’s a lot of people.
I’ll give you poppies and jewels azure blue/ Drape you in silk like the prince of Beirut/ Hold your body still and deep as a tomb/ Lover, it’s everything I want from you, continues the singer in a flood of personal portrayal of the dynamic between the two lovers. Ahla w sahla, snuff out the fire/ Ahla w sahla, I drown in your desire, intensifies the mysticism of Prince of Beirut. One, for its unknown meaning to the English speaker of Ahla w sahla, and two, for the more obvious presence of the female supporting vocals.
Succeeding a sensual iteration, I want be there when you undress, falling to my knees/ I want to show you what lovers mean, when they mean to please, the audience witnesses an incredible motif change. The electric guitar riff that supplies the audience with the role of an outro, lands with disarming majesty thus crystallizing the unique identity and sonic metamorphosis capabilities of Griffo & Lord.
Prince of Beirut is an expensive perfume translated to music. You have to take your time savoring it, understanding it, consuming it, and afterwards, missing it.
Song Credits: Matt Griffo – Songwriter, Lead Vocalist, Ukulele, and Keyboard Player; Jason Lord – Songwriter, Lyricist, Supporting Vocalist, Keyboard, and Accordion Player; Liz Luthier – Back Vocalist; Leyla I. Royale – Cello Player; Paul Grill – Snare Drum Player; Packy Lundholm – Guitar Player; Leon “Q” Allen – Flugelhorn Player; Gordon Walters – Bass Guitar Player; Doug McBride – Sound Engineer.
Written by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2022