The opening moments of Sun Structures will set the definitive tone for Temples, immediately making a nod to the storied past of psychedelic music. But, while that genre has gradually grown stale, this record still illustrates that there are a few gems left to be eked out of the staple sound.
When I put on “Shelter Song,” my ears recoiled a bit; that guitar sound needs to be retired for a bit. But, as the song unfolds there’s some great harmonized pop moments unleashed on the listener. It’s done in a casual fashion too, illustrating the reserved cool that permeates through every inch of Sun Structures. And it doesn’t take too long for the record to move into one of its many hits, “Sun Structures.” This song, like the album, takes its time to build you up; my favorite thing about these collection of songs is that they come to you slow and relaxed, as if the band expected you to really indulge in the listening experience.
And while I’ve clearly lumped Temples into a corner, there are songs that demonstrate that the band have one foot in the past and one stepping into a new realm. The one-two punch of “Keep in the Dark” and “Mesmerise” provide some energetic spins on the genre. The former opens with a light-hearted stomp that includes a bit of fuzzed out riffs near the end; there’s also this explosive beauty that bursts forth through the lyrics. The latter track is all pop. It’s tucked nicely in a warm cocoon of psychedelic vibes, but it’s the perfect place for such a track, giving you a bit of palate cleanser to allow you to digest the rest of this listen.
What has amazed me most about listening to Sun Structures is that despite the length of the songs, they never wear you down. Even on a song like “Sand Dance,” there’s so much to offer aside from what you’re initially being offered. On this tune you’ll find a very classic psych sound, but then there’s this spaced out jam that unfolds to close out the track. The band is not just interested in finite sounds defining what they’re doing; it’s quite refreshing. And, the closing number, “Fragment’s Light,” is an airy closing touch, which again allows you to reflect on everything you’ve heard before.
My advice to you when listening to Sun Structures is to set aside some time to devote to listening to it as a whole. I understand that in today’s world we often don’t have the time, but if you rush your listen, as I might have done on the first few plays, you’ll miss out on a very cohesive release that seems to be arranged perfectly. It’s easy to lump Temples in with the masses of psych bands riding the waves of a tired trend, but if anything, this release shows there’s far more laying in wait, if you’ll only take a little time.