Release Date: Feb 24, 2009
Record label: Western Vinyl
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Luke Temple's first foray into pseudonymical songwriting territory feels as current as did Snowbeast and Hold a Match for a Gasoline World , his prior two records released under his given name. But where those albums-- banjo-centric and cast with Temple's delicately high-pitched voice-- situated him firmly in the realm of borderline-precious indie folkies like Sufjan Stevens and Danielson, Here We Go Magic works with a different form of alchemy. Four-tracked and supposedly cut in "a two-month period of stream-of-consciousness recording," the album filters Temple's psychedelic muse through a much more muted palette: hazy electronic textures, endlessly-spiraling lyrical loops, occasional forays into extended sections of ambience and noise.
Quirky singer/songwriter Luke Temple's first release under the Here We Go Magic byline is just as indie-centric as his previous efforts. Though he mostly ditches the witty delivery and freak-lounge falsetto, there's no mistaking the bedroom recording quality and everything but the kitchen sink, stream of conscious composition. He's merely expanded his horizons, taking on a couple different and somewhat incongruous genres, from Afro-beat pop to freak folk to outright noise collages.
It’s hard to gauge what qualities a pseudonym possesses that can so unshackle an artist from their original persona and thrust them onto experimental plains they’d previously not dared alight upon. Moreover, the effects of these pseudonyms make for varying results. Some jump at the chance to expand their musical arsenal; last year saw Gruff Rhys successfully leap forth from the good ship Super Furry Animals headlong into a pool of trashy synths, Eighties disco-pop and stories of John DeLorean in the form of Neon Neon; whilst others enjoy the apparent light-hearted and less pressurised climate that a pseudonym can bring (Condo Fucks anyone?).
For his new Here We Go Magic project, songwriter Luke Temple insists on repeating himself. The nine tracks collected on the group's self-titled debut build from a base of loops, chants and grooves, casting hypnotic spells as they go. When it works, Temple stuns. Unfortunately, it seems he's also chosen to pad this album with formless sound collages and white-noise excursions, diluting what would have been a stellar EP's worth of material.
The self-titled debut by Here We Go Magic marks a new name and a new sound for Brooklyn musician Luke Temple. While Temple’s proficient but unfocused past efforts (2005’s Hold a Match to a Gasoline World and 2007’s Snowbeast) traded mainly in quirky DIY pop, Magic delivers a more coherent, unique sound that largely dispenses with pop song structures in favor of insistently repetitive grooves and densely layered loops. While some pop tendencies remain in view (as on the only full-band cut, closer “Everything’s Big”), Magic is more geared to the rhythmic and the atmospheric, with Brian Eno serving as a clear reference point both on the My Life in the Bush of Ghosts-inspired funkier tracks and the smattering of ambient ones.