Release Date: Jul 14, 2017
Record label: Western Vinyl Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Experimental Rock, Neo-Psychedelia
There's a lot of reason to reinvent yourself as an artist; it can provide a new bout of interest in your work, it can allow you to open up a new side of yourself, it can help to signpost for fans that you're doing something different, among other potential benefits. Luke Temple seems to know this, having switched from his given name to Here We Go Magic, back to Luke Temple again, and now comes to us repackaged as Art Feynman. It's not just a new moniker; the press shots feature Temple in an outfit that would be suitable on a windy day in a desert, including khakis, a wide-brimmed sun hat and a dust mask that completely obscures his face, giving him a certain anonymity; this is Art Feynman, not Luke Temple or Here We Go Magic or anything else.
Blast Off Through the Wicker is the full-length debut of Art Feynman, a presumably low-key California musician and self-proclaimed animist who made a habit of obscuring his face in promotional material for the album. Spoiler alert: it turns out that Feynman is the alter ego of indie singer/songwriter Luke Temple, who began uploading tracks under the name around the time he relocated from the East Coast to Northern California in 2016. The album's explorative, freewheeling spirit is anchored by an often funky, rhythmic infectiousness as well as cerebral and ethereal qualities, all familiar to fans of his dreamy experimental rock band Here We Go Magic, without replicating it.
When Luke Temple and his band emerged as Here We Go Magic in 2009, they made knotty, hypnotic folk with long patches of ambience used to highlight Temple's earworm melodies. They went on tour with Grizzly Bear--the two were simpatico--before releasing Pigeons in 2010, Temple's first curveball. Since the release of Pigeons--a beguiling album that leaned on krautrock--Temple has used his records as test cases for various styles and sounds.
There is something understandably compelling about the artistic alter-ego. For one, it's just kind of a cool idea to be able to construct a new identity while pursuing your craft. But beyond this, it presents a unique opportunity for an artist to shed any expectation we may have of the way they go about their process. Such can be said for established solo artist and a member of New York trio Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple, in his adoption of the 'Art Feynman' moniker.
Art Feynman is a new artist from California. That's what his label - Western Vinyl of Austin, Texas - are saying. They're lying. Art Feynman is really Luke Temple, he was born in Massachusetts and has spent most of his life on the East Coast. That's not exactly a revelation on a par with The ….