1. Run Toto Run (Twee/Electronic/Folk)
2. The Middle East (Folk/Acoustic/Indie)
The Middle East are a band from Queensland, Australia which I came across recently on the Hype Machine. Their perfectly executed, rich, slow-strummed acoustic folk songs quickly won me over. With dreamy vocal harmonies, Blood (MP3), and a careless, late summer evening feel - The Middle East are probably most accurately described as 'Local Natives in minor' down to not only the uncanny vocal similarity (best showcased on The Darkest Hour (MP3), but also the sliding acoustics which ring ever so clearly in the way the music is recorded. This is music anyone can relate to from a band about as far away from me as its possible to be. They formed in December 2005 and their debut Recordings Of The Middle East hit stores on October 27, 2009. Soon after this, they supported Grizzly Bear on their Melbourne Dates at the end of last year.
The Recordings of the Middle East on Amazon.
3. Small Black (Shoegaze/Electronica/Dream Pop)
I first introduced Small Black on to the blog in November 2009 (original post), as 'dancefloor-filling shoegaze' and I stick by that to this day. Their Small Black EP came out on Cass Club in that October, and now the rumours are starting to stir of a debut full-length from the band dropping some time this year. Single Despicable Dogs (MP3) got almost instant Pitchfork love - and they certainly appear to be another solid bet for what the magazine will throw its full weight behind in 2010. Bad Lover (MP3) is another top track from the grim NYC shoegazers, where shady echoes of the Big Pink and MBV more prominent than ever before shine through in their full force.
buy the Small Black EP in cd format for $8.99 or via Amazon MP3 for just $4.45.