The Middle East
Track: Jesus Came To My Birthday Party
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Related: The Middle East.
The cat's out of the bag! Hints of Christianity were dotted throughout Townsville indie pop collective The Middle East's past recorded material - their 2008 album The Recordings of The Middle East, and last year's re-released EP of the same name - but never before has it been so overt. On 'Jesus Came To My Birthday Party', keyboardist Bree Tranter takes lead vocals for a tale concerning the Messiah's birthday visit: "When I was seventeen/I thought it was a dream/It was a long time ago". ("I haven't seen him in a while", she later admits, before spotting him in the eye of strangers while "down in the city" at night.)
A dirty guitar bookends the narrative, and is allowed an extended run midway through, but it sounds a little forced among the earnestly-strummed acoustic guitars and tambourine-assisted percussion. Dramatic bass notes underscore Tranter's delivery of, "It was a long time ago", and there's a whistled melody nestled underneath all the layers, but when you measure it against their past singles - the still-great 'Blood', and the creeping beauty of 'The Darkest Side' – it doesn’t carry quite the same emotional impact. Such are the dangers of burning so brightly upon entering the wider consciousness: everything that follows will be compared to those first moments of brilliance.
by Andrew McMillen