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Posts Tagged ‘Folk’

It seems like an eternity between drinks for fans of The Middle East. Three years ago their last EP was released and it was received with such warmth that waiting so long to release their follow-up LP would inevitably be accompanied by a substantial rise in expectations; almost to that of an unattainable level.

Fortunately, ‘unattainable’ doesn’t seem to feature in The Muddle East’s vocabulary as “I want that you are always happy” is a fantastic balance of the band’s classic indie-rock and soft-folk sounds. A few fans expecting thirteen new renditions of Blood might be feeling a little harder done-by from the band’s pursuit of the folk-ier experience but “I want that…” Is sure to win many an admirer with this pursuit.

Opening track Black Death 1349, released prior to the album as one of the singles, is the introduction that every indie-folk soundtrack should strive to produce. The way the vocals are softly howled over the plucking of strings serves as a portal to The Middle East’s oxymoronic world of melancholic happiness. This slow, almost monotonous and hypnotizing rhythm and sound continues seamlessly from the opener into My Grandmother was Pearl Hall and As I Go to See Janey.

The album is very unique in it’s ability to contradict itself with dark and despairing album artwork and tracks Ninth Avenue Reverie and Vert Many to the uplifting and joyous moments we experience on first single Jesus Came to my Birthday party and standout track Land of the Bloody Unknown. Aside from being one of the most appropriately and brilliantly titled tracks ever, Land of the… is a gorgeous ode to everything that is Australia. The sound, the lyrics and the vocal accent all cry Australia; as the LP drives you out of the darkness.

Be warned though, it is a tumultuous journey back down into these darkened depths with the album’s other standout Mount Morgan. The gentle beginning innocently matures into a long deep sigh, groaning for your approval and catching your breath before allowing you to release your tension with follow-up tracks Months, Dan’s Silverleaf and Hunger Song.

Deep Water closes the album with the same damp earnestness it began with, leaving my only criticism to be that I don’t possess the eloquence required to express this album as beautifully as it deserves. Trying to communicate artistry of such beauty with sheer words is utterly unjust, as The Middle East have created a divine album that can only be experienced.

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