Truth be told these guys aren't quite as new to me as is usually the case with the bands referenced in these posts - the reason being that I was genuinely convinced I had posted on them before!
Australia hasn't quite been a haven for music in the past (Much more known for Kylie & Jason than anything else) though there are obvious exceptions to this - Nick Cave, Tom Waits, and in recent times Empire of the Sun, the Temper Trap and eh... Wolfmother... (C'mon there's good Led Zeppelin tribute acts in every country though...), though every so often something great seeps through the cracks and grabs the attention of us on the other side of the planet.
Last year, the Middle East released an EP, The Recordings of the Middle East, in the US. It was comprised of the highlights of previously released EPs and a full length release that were confined to Australia. Since then, they have garnered significant attention with Pitchfork offering the single The Darkest Side as a free download as part of their weekly Forkcast.
The two tracks that I have heard, the aforementioned The Darkest Side and the gorgeous Blood are simply sublime. Infectious is all I can say. The latter is a folk driven classic in waiting - all that's missing is the exposure. It has a Peter, Bjorn & John-esque rhythm and whistle tone to it, picks up little bits of early Arcade Fire on the way and the end consists of a rapturous choir that wouldn't sound amiss on a Sufjan Stevens album. The latter owes a little more to Fleet Foxes and Midlake - a whimsical and beautiful track.
It's surely only a matter of time before they explode.
A quick look at their MySpace has them confirmed as an act for Oxegen this summer. I'm very excited indeed!
Check them out at:
Or the glorious video for Blood here:
- Cork, Ireland
- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.