It may only be December but heads are already turning to March 2010 and the South by Southwest Festival. One act who will be appearing there are the Australian band The Middle East who are due to release their debut UK EP through Chess Club later next month. The EP is already out in the USA and Canada under the title The Recordings of the Middle East and the song that is currently grabbing our attention is Blood. With soft vocals and finger-plucked guitar that travel in an unhurried flowing arrangement, the piece gradually grows as tributaries of piano, xylophone and a children’s choir naturally drift in before the track gently floats back to the ground like a soft billowing parachute. For those who possess Grizzy Bear, M.Ward, Fleet Foxes, and even Arcade Fire in their collection The Middle East could certainly be another band to investigate. Blood sits very comfortably in the alt.folk camp and builds an organic home there.
We’re not sure if the geographical name of the band hangs well with the title of the song, but maybe we are being just a little too sensitive, rather like BBC Radio 1 in the past when they banned the name Massive Attack and forced the group to become simply Massive for a while. Apparently The Middle East split up once, but we’re glad they saw sense and decided to continue. Here's the simply animated video for Blood.