Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wonderous Temples

In writing this review I must provide you with a full disclosure. I grew up listening to groups like The Zombies, Traffic, The Beatles, etc. You get the picture.  So, when I first heard that their was a new band with a psychedelic sound I got excited.

Temples debut album, Sun Structures, opens with a terrifically driving riff played on a twelve string guitar. As the opening track, 'Shelter Song', develops I find myself savoring its tonal textures, which are rich, full and occasionally surprising. Consider, for example, the haunting use of a Hammond B-3 at the beginning of 'Sun Structures', the title track, and the sitar like tones that introduce a brief but enjoyable electric jam that takes place at the end of the same song.  The vocal harmonies are thoughtfully crafted and used throughout this album. This listener never knew when a background chorus would suddenly chime in. 

 I had listened to this album several times when it was streaming on NPR's First Listen prior to its release.  I downloaded it on the first day it became available and then listened to it a few more times before finally visiting Temple's website.  Scrolling through the photos posted there I happily and unexpectedly discovered a photo of the album cover of on of my favorite albums from the 70s, Steve Hillage's Fish Rising.  While this album is a true delight it is not one seen much these days.

Enjoy a terrific video of Temples performing 'Sun Structures' live.


Temples formed in 2012.  Originally they were a duo consisting of singer lead guitarist James Edward Bagshaw and bassist/singer Thomas Edison Warmsly.  After Bagshaw and Warmsly cut a couple of studio tracks and uploaded them to Youtube they the got attention of Heavenly Recordings founder Jeff Barrett who agreed to release a single.  They now have a full band, a great first album and they are touring the world.  I'm already looking forward to their sophomore release.