Striking New Luke Temple Tune

luketempleAdmittedly, Luke Temple is hit or miss with me. There were some tracks he built with Here We Go Magic that will forever live in my memory, yet others, they just didn’t grasp me. That being said, this new tune he’s just let loose is pretty memorable; I love how every note here almost feels like it’s being plucked from the strings. His voice continues to impress as well, especially as it rises right at the 2 minute mark. Some guys, they just have a gift, and I’ll go out on a limb and say that Luke’s got it. His new record, A Hand Through the Cellar Door will be released by Secretly Canadian on November 11th.

Here We Go Magic – A Different Ship

Rating: ★★½ · ·

When Here We Go Magic first jumped onto the scene, it was clear that the work was mostly done by Luke Temple.  But, through two albums it has become clear that the band’s blossomed into more of a group effort. So with their third proper release, A Different Ship, would the title indicate a final change in the music itself? The answer to that question can go both ways, and therein lays the problem.

“Hard to Be Close” is the first track, and while there’s that inherent beauty that you find in Here We Go Magic tracks, but it seems rather subdued.  The percussion is fitting and tight, as I expect from a group of this stature, but there’s not a whole lot else to the song; it’s missing that, oh how do you say, magic. They follow it up with “Make Up Your Mind,” a groovier number than the rest, yet still missing that extra bit of emphasis that early HWGM numbers like “Fangela” contained.  It’s something that seems to be stuck in the overall emotion of A Different Ship.

Take, for instance, “I Believe in Action,” a song that definitely has a bit of a groove living within it, but for some reason, that sound is completely contained within, never being unleashed. Perhaps this is the sort of jam that unfolds before your eyes in the live setting (if you’re to go off the song’s ending), but the recording just doesn’t have a kick to it.  In fact, there’s really not a kick to this entire affair; it’s a slow burner to say the least.  I guess in my listening experience with the band this is the most subdued they’ve come across on record…and that might only be my perception.  Still, Here We Go Magic do possess the craftsmanship to write upbeat tunes that catch your ear.

“How Do I Know” is the lone standout jam.  From the moment Luke Temple sings, you get the feeling that he’s more passionate in this performance than he is on any of the other tracks within A Different Ship.  Even the percussion seems a bit more pronounced on this one, giving a more vibrant mood to the listener.  Honestly, this is the reason I adore the band as a whole, and I think I expected more gems like this one.

I know that bands are allowed to grow and progress throughout their careers, and that’s always appreciated, and in the very least, understood.  Sometimes, however, a group can take it too far, and I feel as if that’s what Here We Go Magic did on A Different Ship.  They took a turn in their recording that may sound cleaner than previous outings, but it left out some of the group’s strengths.  If you’re looking for a calmer, steadier version of the band, you’ll probably find this meets your fancy, but if you’re a nostalgic fan of the group, you might be a little let down. Better luck next time.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Make-Up-Your-Mind-1.mp3]

Download:Here We Go Magic – Make Up Your Mind [MP3]

New Music From Here We Go Magic

Does Luke Temple ever sleep?  It really doesn’t seem that way.  The guy is constantly recording, touring, and putting out new music as a solo musician and with his steady outfit Here We Go Magic.  This new tune “Make Up Your Mind” features a pretty funky beat on top of the typical Temple/HWGM chanting verses.  A new album from the band, A Different Ship, is due out May 8th on Secretly Canadian.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Make-Up-Your-Mind-1.mp3]

Download: Here We Go Magic – Make Up Your Mind [MP3]

Luke Temple – Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Known for his vocal and multi-instrument contributions from the band Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple had been a solo artist much before he began his collaborative efforts.  However, it seems to be that the greater likelihood that you have discovered him from the role of lead singer due to that band’s buzz status on the internet. Obviously, solo records like this one warrant more of an individual’s reflection of himself or herself; they have total say in what goes for the final copy of their work. This individual album meets this standard quite nicely—Temple’s sounds are far more reliant on the lyricism and less focused the building up of sound that Here We Go Magic is all about.

Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care begins with “In The Open,” which immerses you in the world of Temple. Sure, there are similarities that overlap from other work. You have the jangly percussion elements like tambourines, but there is a groovier vibe to things. Also, the first track feels significantly shorter than you’d expect. It’s not disappointing, rather, it lets you savor the intimacy that is present. It’s like the third wall between presenter and audience has been cut down and Luke is just giving it to you straight.

Even though this album is intimate, it doesn’t mean that the quality you have come to expect from anything that Temple has touched is diminished in the slightest. On the fourth track, “Weekend Warrior,” this becomes inherently apparent. The longest track on here, at around five minutes and thirty seconds, there are some build-ups in this song during each chorus. Starting soft and slow, with whispers of electric guitar and pitter-pattering drums in the background as Temple’s meek voice waivers above, but only just so. Then, during the chorus, there is a plethora of lush sounds that juxtaposes nicely with the overwhelmingly calm other parts of the song. It’s easily one of the best songs to be found on this album.

For less than forty minutes, Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care stretches out nicely, feeling a lot longer than it is. To me, the lack of a backing band does not diminish this man’s sound or goal in the slightest. Yes, there are a few tracks that come off as subdued, but by no means boring or banal. It’s a complete sounding album, great for those who are already familiar with the pop styling of Temple, or those who are new to such an experience.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/05-Ophelia.mp3]

Download: Luke Temple – Ophelia [MP3]

New Music from Luke Temple

By now, it would seem that Luke Temple is a household name, or at least with the recent success of his main role in Here We Go Magic.  But, unlike the offering with his group, Luke Temple’s new solo record, Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care, has a bit of a vibe that’s all over the map.  While it’s not as focused as his other works, it clearly demonstrates the incredible range Temple maintains as a songwriter.  This opening track will definitely venture down a bit of a country path, but that’s not the feel of the entire ride you’ll be getting when Western Vinyl releases the album  on August 30th.  Trust me, there are some spectacular gems on here, so you’ll want to get familiar with the man now.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/05-Ophelia.mp3]

Download: Luke Temple – Ophelia [MP3]

Here We Go Magic – The January EP

Rating: ★★★½ ·

The six songs on The January EP are leftovers from the band’s session for Pigeons, and while leftovers might seem like a bad thing for fans of Here We Go Magic, there are definitely tracks on this offering that might outshine some of those featured on the full-length.

While you begin with the psychedelic leanings of “Tulip,” you’ll notice that there are definitely some more upbeat moments that lay in waiting for future Here We Go Magic releases. Luke’s voice still has that boyish quality to it, and while the song moves into a sprawling blend of harmonies before going back to the California-chug of guitars, you’ll begin to wish this had come mixed in with the latest LP.  Similarly, “Backwards Time” has a more upbeat feel than some of the tracks that precede it, but this is where some fans will wish that the group went more often.  It’s clear the drums are pushing the song, but Temple’s vocal delivery really does its best to grab the listener’s attention.  Quite possibly this is one of the best songs these guys have written.

Don’t think that there isn’t a slow burner on this record.  You know, the one’s where Here We Go Magic really work on composing floating pop galaxies where Luke’s voice can carry any note.  They do precisely this with “Hands in the Sky,” and at times, you can almost feel yourself drifting away with the song, while electronic elements provide sounds from those old science videos on space.  Listening closely, the percussive element of the group definitely holds the unit together, as the drumming serves as a tight metronome-like beat.  And you can juxtapose that tight formality with the closing track “Mirror Me,” which has a murky feel to it, perhaps influence by programmed beats that mirror blown speakers.  Hidden inside this track are some incredible moments, but this, like few of the other tracks on the January EP definitely feels like it was one meant to be left over.

Perhaps Pigeons needs a revisiting.  If a handful of incredible songs were left laying around when Here We Go Magic wrapped up their recording, then that album’s got to be full of magnificent gems.  You can tell with the January EP that it has thematic differences from its forefathers, so lets hope it indicates a continued bright future for the band.  If at the very least, we can see a unit evolving into a tight-knit group of melodic songwriting that we’ll all enjoy for some time. So in the end, you’ll surely agree that this doesn’t taste like leftovers.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/02-Hands-in-the-Sky-1.mp3]

Download: Here We Go Magic – Hands in the Sky [MP3]

New Music From Here We Go Magic

Luke Temple and his band Here We Go Magic are currently sitting on top of the world.  They earned spots on all kinds of year end lists with their debut LP last year and pretty much everyone is labeling them the next big thing.  Now only a year after their debut release, HWGM are planning to release their sophomore effort, Pigeons, on June 8th via their new label Secretly Canadian.  This album will feature collaborations from all band members as opposed to last years album that was basically a Luke Temple solo effort.  Below you can find the first sneak peak from the album, “Collector”, which some of you may recognize as a staple of their live sets.  After a few spins, I’m ready to call this best new song of the week and a must have album in 2010.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/02-Collector-1.mp3]

Download: Here We Go Magic – Collector [MP3]

ATH Interviews: Here We Go Magic

magicBefore their sold out show at the Parish, ATH stopped by End of an Ear in Austin on Tuesday for an intimate in-store performance by Brooklyn band Here we go Magic.  Shortly after the set, we had the chance to sit down with founding member Luke Temple to ask him a few questions about his newly formed band.  We talk about what it’s been like touring with Grizzly Bear, the future of his band, and tons more interesting tidbits.  Follow the jump to read our full interview with Luke Temple.

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Here We Go Magic

Usually solo artist Luke Temple recently formed a group with some of his Brooklyn friends called Here We Go Magic.  The band is planning to release their debut self-titled LP on Feb. 24th via our local record label Western Vinyl.  First single “Tunnelvision” can be found below.  It’s getting heavy play around the ATH offices.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/here-we-go-magic-tunnelvision.mp3]

Download: Here We Go Magic – Tunnelvision [MP3]