Artist Spotlight: The Middle East

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Australian music. It’s partly patriotism, sure, but also I think my country produces some of the finest music in the world. For example, Angus & Julia Stone, the super talented Aussie brother-sister duo who featured in our Bonnaroo 2010 Artist Spotlight series.

Now I want to introduce you to another Australian act – The Middle East. [In the interest of full disclosure, this spotlight was originally written in May as part of our Bonnaroo series but then in all the excitement we forgot to hit publish. It’s okay though, the band are still really, really impressive.]

The Middle East are a slightly mysterious and media-shy group who are difficult to dig up information on. But what I can tell you is that they’re an ambient, folk-ish, somewhat Arcade Fire-esq group hailing from Townsville who – if the internet is to be believed – break up and get back together more often than you and your (ex)girlfriend. I can also tell you that one their lead singles, ‘The Darkest Side’, is one of the most beautiful, delicate and heart-wrenching songs to come into my life lately. Listen to the it on the player below, it might be the best thing you’ve heard this week.

The Middle East’s 08 EP, Recordings of the Middle East, generated so much hype that they’ve been touring the world’s biggest festivals ever since. The record’s available in Australia, the UK and USA, featuring 5 intelligent tracks that are worth your time. You can also stream them on Myspace.

Check out the music video for their first single, Blood.


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Founding member. Former writer. Still loves Autostraddle with her whole heart.

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. Love the delicate vocals and harmonies. I also really appreciate the Sim City reference (did I imagine this?).

    This is exactly the sort of punch-in-the-gut music I am guilty of falling for over and over again. Thanks for pointing them out to me!

  2. Mmmmm, I’ve always loved the crescendo on Blood. The fact that the player slipped into a 2nd song, the equally beautiful Lonely, was the best surprise of the week. Yes, it has been a mundane week. Thank you for making it better with The Middle East.

  3. for some reason his voice reminds me of sam beam’s from iron & wine but smoother. or maybe that’s because i’ve been listening to a lot of iron & wine lately. either way, i still like that song!

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