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]

Show Preview: Here We Go Magic @ The Parish (5.25)

Date Wednesday, May 25th
Location Parish
Doors 800p
Tickets $11 from Frontgate

Honestly, I feel sort of like Here We Go Magic are becoming a local band; those kids play here all the time.  That being said, we’ll gladly have them back any time, as long as they continue to give us great liver performances, and killer music like the recent January EP. They’ll be sweeping through town on Wednesday with another Brooklyn act in tow, giving us all a pretty solid reason to head out to the Parish midweek.  Caveman and Shells (up-and-coming Austin band) will both open the evening, just before we get to the nitty-gritty jam-core of HWGM.  You in? You better be.

[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]


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

Here We Go Magic are a band that we fancy around here in the ATH offices.  The band puts out solid tunes on a regular basis, is great live, and even manages to be a pretty nice group of people.  Continuing with their hard work ethic, the band  is getting ready to release a new EP of material entitled The January EP on May 10th via Secretly Canadian.  Below you can find a taste of that EP in the form of “Hands in the Sky”.

[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]

Show Review: Dr. Dog @ Stubbs (11/12)

The rain stayed just east of the downtown, lightning flashing in the cloud line.  Everyone was a little nervous about the weather.  In fact, security joked that the show was cancelled.  Maybe just kidding, but with lightning in the area, I would guess Stubb’s would have to shut down.  Good thing the show went on, it was well worth the price of admission and brief delay.  On to the review after the jump.’

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Show Preview: Dr. Dog @ Stubbs (11/12)

Date 11/12/10
Location Stubbs
Doors 7:30pm
Tickets $20 @ Frontgate

To this local music writer, it seems like Dr. Dog and Here We Go Magic should just move to Austin with how much they love playing here.  Seriously, doesn’t it seem like both these bands were JUST here?  Regardless, you’ve got another chance to catch both of these bands in the live setting at Stubbs on Friday night.  Both are most definitely worth the price of admission.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/drdog3.mp3]

Download: Dr. Dog – Stranger [MP3]

Here We Go Magic @ Emo’s (8/4)

Date 8/4/10
Location Emos
Doors 9pm
Tickets $10 @ Ticketweb

Here We Go Magic have another show planned in Austin this Wednesday night at Emo’s.  Seems like these guys have been stopping in town a lot over the last couple years so I’m glad to see up and comers Beach Fossils also on the bill.  Oh No Oh My will be opening up the night.

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

Download: Here We Go Magic – Collector [MP3]

Here We Go Magic – Pigeons

Rating: ★★★½☆

When we first heard from Here We Go Magic on their self-titled album, the work was largely the product of Luke Temple.  On Pigeons, we find Luke extending the olive branch to his bandmates, collaborating on the collection of tunes, which leads to a more complete sound for the group, and one that shows a great deal of cohesiveness.

A crazy little bass line opens up the album, coated by the usual layering of the rest of the group on “Hibernation.”  More construction seems to be the biggest difference here, as details are fleshed out in every bit of space.  Temple’s vocals are really soothing, almost warm, which makes the vocal more of just another way to fill out the sound.  It all leads into one of the band’s best songs to date, “Collector.”  Temple’s vocal delivery when he says “I got a mild fascination” just gets me every time, and its not even the best vocal performance of his on the song.  Furious pacing by guitars and drums alike barely give you time to breathe, and before you know it you’re blasting on towards the end.

Some weird moments pop up throughout Pigeons, and perhaps this is just a personal thing.  By weird I mean there are some odd influences, that may not be conscious ones at all.  “Casual” really has a Stereolab feel to it, using electronic beats to build gentle melodies, with very soft vocals barely sitting atop the mix. “Bottom Feeder” is one of those sneaky tracks that doesn’t seem to fit quite into the entire album, although the Nada Surf feel might not be too far fetched for these NYC kids.  It’s a gem of a pop song, though it doesn’t fit the mold of the rest of the songs, but just focus on the fact that its a killer track.  Let’s not forget the quirky “Old World United,” which just feels good to listen to it.  It’s got a throbbing bass line and key use of electronic touches allows for maximum amounts of listening pleasure.

While the latter half of the record seems to largely be constructed of more jamming pieces, such as the fast paced “Moon,” the variance softer numbers are some of the more rewarding upon repeated listens. “F.F.A.P.” moves really slowly, and its one of the few songs of the set where Here We Go Magic seems to let Temple’s voice shine through, which it should do more often.  His voice holds this track in place while the music is secondary, used more as filler.   But, while those bright moments have all shown greatly during Pigeons, the album end sort of anticlimactically.  Two of the shortest songs close it out, and they seem more likely to be moments of tinkering and studio downtime than well thought out tracks one would include on a record.  It’s the one disappointing thing about the entire group of songs because up until this point in the album, it appeared that the group was really hitting their stride.  Alas, those weak moments aside, you’ll find growth and depth in the sound of Here We Go Magic, and no one can complain with artistic progress.

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

Download: Here We Go Magic – Collector [MP3]

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