From Pitchfork: In current semi-pop discourse, the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, may be best known for its expats: the Shins of Portland, Ore., or Brooklyn’s Beirut. Here the latter outfit’s Zach Condon gives back to his former town. The Beirut frontman plays trumpet and ukulele on Albuquerque-based Alaska in Winter’s debut, Dance Party in the Balkans. On "Close Your Eyes", Alaska in Winter (aka Brandon Bethancourt) sounds less Eastern European disco than post-Sufjan Stevens processional Americana, built like the Verve’s "Bittersweet Symphony" around a heavy beat and stately strings. "So here we are standing alone with our eyes closed," a vocoded Bethancourt repeats, accompanied by a choral spree and Condon’s jingling ukulele. Oh boy, this doesn’t mean more speculative, frenzied trend pieces about "The Next Seattle", does it?