Every now and then something happens that makes you realise that Tasmania really is part of Australia and this EP by Ben Wells and the Middles Names is exactly that stimulus.
This six-piece from Hobart have produced an absolutely killer debut EP that combines everything we love about indie music. They have melodic keyboards, sweet violins, catchy guitar loops, a fantastic lead vocalist with the back-ups to boot. Its a crazy good EP, and its not surprising that several of the tracks have already gained some radio time.
My favourite track has to be ‘Hey’. It is a wicked duet mixing the smooth vocals of Ben Wells and the beautiful voice of Hannah Foley, that just commands your ears to listen. The instrumentation is impressive to, particularly the introductory section to the song. It starts with the percussion, followed by the guitars plucking away, then piano interjects and finally the chanting vocals with ‘Hey’. Its pretty cool.
Yet there are more great tracks such as ‘My Dear Summer’ which is that kind of chilled almost folky kind of music that you feel compelled to sing along to. Its fantastically well layered, with the keys, drums and guitars mixing flawlessly with the happy-go-lucky vocals of Ben Wells. This track is full of catchy melodies, and has more charm than anything I have listened to lately. It is just such a polite and friendly song and an awesome listen. Put simply – I love it.
Each of the remaining 4 songs gives something different. ‘Sinners’ is a slow moving raw acoustic piece that verges on spoken word, that I cant help but feel it doesn’t suit the band as well as the sounds on the other tracks.’A Good Read’ is the heaviest of the tracks and reminded me of a heavy version of Irish band The Script. ‘River’ is more of a slow tune driven by the percussion of the egg shaker, but comprises a pretty cool piano solo that helps create a mega chilled track. ‘Robin Hood’ is their most popular track, and it uses some catchy hooks, beautiful harmonies and driving beats to tell an interesting love story.
The whole album has charm leaking out of it. Its just clean indie fun. I have been made into quite the Ben Wells and the Middle Names fan, and am looking forward to their future releases.