Back in 2009, I first wrote about Townsville band, The Middle East, on these pages. At the time, their EP, “Recordings of The Middle East” – and in particular, their tune “The Darkest Side” – was one of the most exciting releases I had heard… especially from a band without even a full release under their belts.
Fast-forward to 2011, and after much anticipation, that debut full-length studio album has finally arrived.
I Want That You Are Always Happy is the debut album from The Middle East: a collection of songs recorded between Townsville, Texas & Cairns while the band toured internationally in 2010. Just released this week, it’s still early days with it, but after only a few spins, I can pretty much guarantee this will have a space on my “Best of 2011” list.
The release may not be what everyone is expecting, considering their earlier EP work. There’s definitely a lot more experimentation with out-and-out indie tunes, along with the chamber-pop, ethereal folk stuff that you would have expected. But it all works. Seriously. This is an album you have to listen to in its entirety, or you aren’t doing it right. From haunting, achingly beautiful sombre stuff, to upbeat melodies, this album is a journey more than anything else. And the journey’s more important than the destination.
Below is one of my favourite tracks off the album, “Land of the Bloody Unknown”, and below that you can stream “Deep Water”, 8 minutes of pure bliss that closes the album.
Listen. Love. Support.
Listen: The Middle East – Deep Water