Townsville, a town on the north coast of Queensland, Australia, isnt known for its prolific and trailblazing music scene. Rugby league, rodeos, monsoonal weather. Not a lot to hope for, right?
Out of nowhere a little band is doing its darnedest to change all that. The Middle East are a seven piece who are rapidly storming across the world, making waves everywhere they go (especially at South By Southwest where they garnered glowing reviews and a few celebrity listeners, allegedly including one very bemused Bill Murray). They have elements of fellow Aussies Art of Fighting in their vocal harmonies and spectral soaring guitarwork, but in tracks like Lonely the shadows of other well-known collectives such as Broken Social Scene shine through. It is the surprising beauty inherent in every second of their tracks that dislodges you from your cynical ways, beguiles you with its ethereal harmonics and finally bolsters your hope that all is not lost.
I had heard of the band through snippets of info, but it wasnt until my mate Andy played me a track that I cottoned on to the hullabaloo. Their recordings have been on high rotation ever since.
Their first album, The Recordings of the Middle East, has been going great guns since its re-release late last year in its home country, and should be pushing more than a few units when it gains international release in the very near future. Until then, unless you decide to order it in (which I strongly suggest), here is a sample of a track from their self titled EP from earlier last year (which is really an abridged version of their album anyway).
The Middle East - Blood
You had me at Bill Murray.