The buzz behind Australian band The Middle East may be quiet
for now, but with its first US appearance slated for SXSW–this
is assuredly the calm before the storm.
Simply put, The
Recordings of the Middle East is stellar. Simultaneously hypnotic and gut
wrenching, their ambient folk music is refreshingly versatile. “Blood” stuns with trembling intimacy, while probing the
tragedies of death and failed marriage for optimism and closure. “There’s
nothing you can do about it now,” singer Jordan Ireland sighs to the light
strums of guitar and sparkling glockenspiel.
The startling “Beleriand” draws to mind an angstier Mew,
pitting falsetto against whining reverb and jangling drums before cutting away
to eerie bleakness. The sweet
harmonies and finger picked guitar of “Darkest Side” meditate on the pain and
beauty of love. If there were one criticism for The Middle East, it would be the letdown of only having an EP to enjoy. One can only hope for a full album in the very near future.