Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “Blood” by The Middle East from the band’s self-titled 2009 EP on Spunk.
Don’t scratch your scalp too hard from all the thinking. The Middle East does not hail from the land of the Tigris and Euphrates but from the land of rugby and the Great Barrier Reef. Australia, not well known for its bubbly folk scene but more for bombastic rock riffs, angular pop, and introverted experimentalism, has The Middle East to play ambassador to many shores, including their own, with the group’s self-titled EP. The shuffling beauty of “Blood” reckons to curdle the viscous substance in those who will lay ears upon the twinkling melody and raucous-laden bridge and be transported to ideas of fellow countrymen Architecture in Helsinki or Montreal’s greatest indie export, The Arcade Fire. Yet, “Blood” knows when to tone down the over-the-top pop and fill in the gaps with gentle acoustic strokes and childlike innocence. The true talent of The Middle East, as inherent in “Blood,” is the ability to build up a proper crescendo and then letting it fall of its own volition; the pieces scattered wherever they settle. With the indie genre becoming more formulaic and predictable with each passing blogger’s delight, it’s nice to find a band comfortable making music their own way no matter what the influence or genre label attached. Tuck away your best Down Under accent, forget about the trouble brewing in sandy deserts, and be whisked to a musical land all its own courtesy of The Middle East.
The problem with falling for an Australian band: they are always playing Australia. If you were looking for a live fix from The Middle East, you best check out their MySpace page and coordinate with lovely coastal town you need Quantas to whisk you away to. To quell your desires and perhaps save you a few thousand dollars in airfare, we offer the beautiful video for “Blood” in all its animated glory: