Mashrou’ Leila, the most exciting Lebanese alternative rock/folk band to emerge from the local music scene in recent years, are set to release their second album, ‘El Hal Romancy’ (The Romantic Solution), at the Beirut Hippodrome on July 29, 2011. The seven-member band has put together an intensely intimate and personal collection of songs, infused with heavily orchestrated backing arrangements.
‘El Hal Romancy’ is composed of 6 tracks, with deeper more insightful lyrics. Theatrically, the album comes to life by telling the stories of several people. The entire collection of tunes takes place, as the band members describe it, “in a weathered bedroom, with ruffled bed sheets, stained carpeting, and a rich bookshelf, while a string section plays on a rusty vinyl player to a couple of young lovers trying to survive the city.”
What differentiates this album from the last, is precisely that from album design to recording and mixing, ‘El Hal Romancy’ is entirely the product of Mashrou’ Leila’s work.
“This album is very personal to us because it represents the transformation of all that we have learned and experienced musically over the past two years, into intimate tracks,” said Hamed Sinno of Mashrou’ Leila.
Despite their travel and touring throughout the Middle Eastern this past year, Mashrou’ Leila chose Lebanon for their album release considering it ‘home’, and where their journey began.
“It is where we started and what inspired our music for the past three years. We wrote everything here, and even when we don’t write about Beirut directly, it’s still very much there in our sensibilities,” explained Sinno.
The band, which came together in 2008 as a music workshop at the American University of Beirut, has already travelled far together. From recording their first album; playing at the Byblos International Festival; touring Middle Eastern cities which include Doha, Dubai and Cairo; to playing their first International Festival in Serbia, they have been met with international success, with a growing loyal fan base.
“Ever since we started recording ‘El Hal Romancy’, we knew that we had evolved a lot musically since the first album,” states Sinno. The raw quality and distinctive feel of this album are also evident in the album art. The band collaborated with photographers George Awde and Tarek Moukaddem for the record cover and photography featured in the album booklet.
A performance by the BCE will open the evening, while JADE (The Basement, Beirut) (www.ihatejade.com ) will play the closing set.
Tickets go on sale on July 8th, 2011, at the following outlets:
- Virgin Megastore: 01/999666
- Coppa Di Pasta: 01/341734, Hamra
- United DJs Record Shop: 03/957344, Zalka
- U Shop- United Station: 03/979757, Antelias- Hazmieh