Luke Temple, a singer-songwriter from Salem, Massachusetts, has had marginal success with two full length records in the past, managing to earn a slot on Grey’s Anatomy, a career high for many acts. With his latest project Temple makes a dramatic change of course from his signature folk pop. Like many Brooklyn exports this year, the eponymous album from Here We Go Magic is predominately psychedelic and ethnically shaded.
Essentially a bedroom album, Temple reportedly recorded the album at home using analog synths, a cassette 4-track, and a mic, creating an album that may not be burnished with high-end production but remains a warm, textured and cosmic-sounding release. Opening track ‘Only Pieces’ is evocative of Paul Simon. Immediately entrancing Temple’s hushed vocal is looped over tribal beats posing the question of ‘What’s the use in dying dying if I don’t know when?’ with some danceable poignancy. ‘Fangala’ is a jovial blissed-out number incorporating eerie synths over Afropop beats where ‘Ahab’ is more paranoid with swooping vocal and organ harmonies.
‘Ghost List’ and ‘Nat’s Alien’ are pulsating, peculiar ambient pieces. If you listen to ‘Babyohbabyijustcantstanditanymore’ enough times, you too will have a lucid dialogue with the Smash Robots.
On the sensational ‘Tunnelvision’, Temple takes on a wondrous gender neutral falsetto, reminiscent of The Delays or The Sleepy Jackson, along with repetitive, cyclical, acoustic guitars creating a kaleidoscopic, floating composition that really should never end. A tremendous sound byte that is sure to be heard over some playbacks of sporting highlights (triumphs on the beeb in the coming months). The mood changes with album closer ‘Everything’s Big’, a drugged out Patsy Kline-esque waltz, tarnishing the albums ebullient vibe.
Clever marketing would see Here We Go Magic packaged with festival tickets, sunshine, a hacky sack and a baggy of dried psilocybin.