The Mid­dle East: blood ties

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music - www.mys­ visit the mid­dle east

Just when New Mu­sic thought there was lit­tle else in Oz to grab our at­ten­tion, The Mid­dle East come along, chuck their gor­geous five-track mini-al­bum in our di­rec­tion, and we’re sigh­ing with de­light once again.

Chances are you’ll be sim­i­larly smit­ten by what you hear from the six-strong band, es­pe­cially if you have been dig­ging the kind of nu-folk pop which has made quite a splash in re­cent times.

From Townsville in Queens­land, a town within spit­ting dis­tance of the Great Bar­rier Reef, The Mid­dle East cre­ate broody, hushed, at­mo­spheric and dra­matic tunes.

Their story be­gins back in 2005 when they be­gan play­ing in and around Townsville. A split and a re­union in 2008 led to the band step­ping up a gear, tak­ing things a lot more se­ri­ously and record­ing and re­leas­ing a mini-al­bum, The Record­ings Of The Mid­dle East.

Their call­ing card to date has been Blood, a beau­ti­fully spooked tune which may re­call your first en­counter with Griz­zly Bear or Justin Ver­non.

All sub­tle bells, gen­tle fin­ger­picked gui­tars and crooned vo­cals, Blood is The Mid­dle East in a nut­shell.

That track has been mak­ing waves for the band at home for quite some time. It was in­cluded on a “Sin­gles Club” com­pi­la­tion re­leased by Syd­ney’s Spunk la­bel ear­lier this year and a deal be­tween la­bel and band and an EP release fol­lowed.

Af­ter an­other bunch of shows up and down Aus­tralia’s East Coast, The Mid­dle East’s next step is to fin­ish off record­ing an­other al­bum.

Let’s hope that 2010 will see them tak­ing that prod­uct to other parts of the world.

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