Sunday, 25 April 2010

indie folk wizards of oz

It's strange how some scenes that have been around for a long time can suddenly gain so much popularity in such a short time. Take Dubstep for example, it had been around since the early 00's, and only now has it sky-rocketed in terms of popularity. Well, while that sensation is burning away on the dance music side of thnigs, on the other side of the music chasm, a suddenly popular folk/indie hybrid is turning a lot of heads. Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons and Johnny Flynn appear to be getting a lot more coverage than they used to, and quite frankly, it's brilliant. Now folk bands can become superstars! And The Middle East ought to be no exception. After playing an incredible set at SXSW, there is a ton of buzz around them and they even got a full page spread in NME's Radar section. And it's all deserved.

There is something so beautiful about the music that The Middle East are making that really does leave you a little dumbstruck after listening, from their EP "The recordings of the middle east" opening track The darkest side is so soothing it could calm down an enraged BNP supporter had a mosque been built next door to his house. The vocals really are that sweet. Underlay all of this with vocal harmonies, acoustic guitars and a dash of other twee instruments and you do get folk perfection. The Middle East really are incredible and are capable of creating vast soundscapes as heard in the EP's closing track Tsietsi, which sounds very post-rock, sweeping violins included. Of course, it's nothing to dance to or put on at a party, but if you want to sit back and relax on a sunday afternoon with a cup of tea, it's actual perfection. I can find nothing bad to say about the Middle East and I will be eagerly awaiting the release of a full LP sometime. Until then, the EP will certainly make do. Make sure you listen to Blood, it really is amazing.

The Middle East have announced a small UK tour this June/July playing the following dates:

Manchester - 25th June
Dublin - 26th June
Brighton - 28th June
London - 13th July
*Sadly the Manchester and Dublin dates are 18+ :(

Anyway, here is a link to the EP

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