5 Songs, 26 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In a time when emulating the inspiring, soul-wrenching sounds of Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes is enticing to many a guileless indie band, finding Australia’s the Middle East is especially satisfying. “Blood,” the five-and-a-half-minute centerpiece of this oversized EP, is well worth the cost of admission alone, a song that packs an exhilarating, emotional charge straight out of the Iver/Foxes textbook of Indie Pop (a mention of Arcade Fire or Nick Drake wouldn’t be out of place here, either). The Middle East make music crafted with a carefully orchestrated dark/light, yin/yang balancing act; their hushed folk-pop is both breathtakingly delicate and electrifying. Most tracks, but especially “Blood,” start as a tip-toe, with gentle acoustic guitars, soft percussion, and Jordan Ireland’s vocal sighs and whispers eventually stirred to a full charge; radiant gales of guitar, swells of piano and trumpet, and layers of hymnal choruses raise goose bumps. Lyrics like, “It’s the darkest side of my heart that dies when you come to me” are both heartbreaking and triumphant in their resolution, and they tell vivid, eloquently detailed stories. A beautiful debut from a band to watch.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In a time when emulating the inspiring, soul-wrenching sounds of Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes is enticing to many a guileless indie band, finding Australia’s the Middle East is especially satisfying. “Blood,” the five-and-a-half-minute centerpiece of this oversized EP, is well worth the cost of admission alone, a song that packs an exhilarating, emotional charge straight out of the Iver/Foxes textbook of Indie Pop (a mention of Arcade Fire or Nick Drake wouldn’t be out of place here, either). The Middle East make music crafted with a carefully orchestrated dark/light, yin/yang balancing act; their hushed folk-pop is both breathtakingly delicate and electrifying. Most tracks, but especially “Blood,” start as a tip-toe, with gentle acoustic guitars, soft percussion, and Jordan Ireland’s vocal sighs and whispers eventually stirred to a full charge; radiant gales of guitar, swells of piano and trumpet, and layers of hymnal choruses raise goose bumps. Lyrics like, “It’s the darkest side of my heart that dies when you come to me” are both heartbreaking and triumphant in their resolution, and they tell vivid, eloquently detailed stories. A beautiful debut from a band to watch.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
213 Ratings

213 Ratings

mily014 ,

Bon Iver + Fleet Foxes = The Middle East

The sound of the album reminds me of Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, but they definitely have their own sound. The vocals are downright AMAZING.

cmezak ,

a treasure

I was driving from Hartford to San Francisco and stopped in St. Louis for dinner. While poking around in a nearby comic shop, I was mesmerized by what was playing on the radio in the store. I was frantically trying to Shazam the song with my iPhone, but it didn't come up. I started attempting to memorize phrases from the lyrics that would help me search for the song online. Thankfully, the artist and title were announced when the song ended. It turned out to be "Blood" by The Middle East.

A month later, I remembered my discovery and downloaded the album. Many times I've downloaded an album based on one song or part of a song and been disappointed. In this case, I was delighted. If any part of this album impresses you, then the album as a whole will blow you away.

I won't bother to try to describe the music itself (listen to the samples!). This is the kind of music that reveals something intimate about the context in which it is heard. Enjoy.

justicetunes ,

awestruck.

This band is simply amazing, I can't stop listening to them. Dreamy, melodic, intense, creative, artistic, sound with lyrics to die for.

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