Release Date: Nov 11, 2016
Record label: Secretly Canadian
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk
The folk song storyteller has become scarce. Songwriting that can carry an album on the back of clear vocal command and narrative, luring you into verses that combine chronicle and parable is a lost art form. You don't realize how much so until you hear an album like Luke Temple's new solo album, A Hand Through the Cellar Door. Without lavishness, the Here We Go Magic frontman elevates lyricism above the common collection of ironic euphemisms and bluntly vulnerable confessions.
On 2013's Good Mood Fool, singer/songwriter Luke Temple veered from the eccentric indie folk of his three prior solo LPs, opting for sort of indie-electronic soul. While the experiment was generally well received, he returns to a folk-styled approach on his follow-up, A Hand Through the Cellar Door. It showcases Temple as storyteller to a greater degree than his previous records, and almost in contrast to the more allusive work of his band Here We Go Magic.
Look at the cover art for A Hand Through the Cellar Door. The character is thoroughly obscured but somehow still recognizable as a person, perhaps because of their shape, their clothing or the simple, meta-textual fact that they are the subject of this album cover photo. It could be Luke Temple, or it could be anyone; this is the paradoxical nature of the detailed yet unknowable characters Temple sings about on his new album.This album is something of a return to the folksier singer-songwriter form of Temple's 2001 LP Don't Act Like You Don't Care, and his writing is no less intimate here as he tells stories about characters other than himself, perhaps aiming to reveal something personal or universal — or both.