band of the moment: the middle east

nme recently did a feature called “band crush,” in which musicians recommend their current obsessions. marcus mumford, whose band i am not super fond of (but i respect them as musicians geez!!!!!), chose the middle east, an australian group that opened for them earlier this year.

a hat tip to wikipedia for defining them as a “musical collective” because really, i can’t think of a better descriptor. just really beautiful and simplistic and seem to combine my favorite elements of some popular bands. the recordings of the middle east ep is harmony heavy like fleet foxes and vocally driven like bon iver (the instruments definitely take second stage). their songs also feature a constant rotation of instruments like fanfarlo and local natives, as well as the whistling stylings of andrew bird.

really, any band that can combine the banjo, glockenspiel, trumpet and whistling in a single song will win me over instantly. watch them perform “blood” on kexp:

they hit the festival circuit hard this year, playing at sxsw, coachella, sasquatch, and bonnaroo, which means they should totally be hitting their stride right about…now.

studio version of “blood”: (which you can download for free at the bottom of their website.)

“lonely”:

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~ by CJL on November 23, 2010.

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