Reviews

You’ll be made to care on new Luke Temple

Luke Temple

Don't Act Like You Don't Care

Luke Temple

Release Date: Sep 06, 11

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Did you buy into Here We Go Magic‘s self-titled debut success back in 2009? You’ve probably heard the track “Fangela” and considered the band to be a band of a more pop Thee Oh Sees sound. Well frontman Luke Temple has news for you: he isn’t strictly a man of alternative singles. While HWGM’s debut was in development, Temple was balancing a solo ambition that resulted in the only-recently released album Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care. But Luke, we do care – because the album you’ve released is like an old car that you know you can always rely on even though it’s beat and worn. As much as Temple’s newest creation hits so many right notes, there’s such an audience to not want 38:48 of folk reflections on human relations.

Jumping straight into a blend between a Wes Anderson retrospective and Where The Wild Things Are, opening track “In The Open” manages to just avoid settling on the side of commercial sounding. The constant tempo and scratchy, old radio sound gives an optimistic view of summer nostalgia, appropriate especially for this exact time of year.

Moderating the mood just a bit, “More Than Muscle” has a Grizzly Bear approach to luring you in with the slippery slow build up to the chorus that will remain in your head for some time – despite being just a couple lines long before moving on to the next verse. Think if The Cloud Room made a “mature”-sounding track (whatever that really means nowadays anyhow).

Teasing you out with a rather quiet opening, the fourth track has quite the Thom Yorke eerie spin to it.  Welcomed nonetheless. “Weekend Warrior” balances Temple’s clear and always on-key soothing voice with a distant piano and light guitar picking. A drum beat so steady it sounds more like a hand shaker of sand. And then he builds himself up from this relaxing state to question his subject for the chorus – and when he switches up the sound altogether, reminding me more and more of The Cloud Room (think “Sunlight Song”), you’re right there with him. You don’t even miss the previous half of the song you were enjoying. This is even better. It gets ethereal.

Do your grandparents dance slow to songs? I wouldn’t know either. But you’ve probably seen those types of scenes in movies. Well Temple may be from the wrong era because he sounds just like a mid-century struggling musician lost in love on “You Belong To Heaven.” Whether meant to be mourned over or sighed longingly about, the song has an easy-to-follow kind of flow reminiscent of traditional folk songs and nursery rhymes – you can just go with it again and again regardless of how well you know the tune by heart.

Closing out the album with “Luck Part,” a slow and quiet kind of song that knows it’s slowly (5:19) ending the nine-track compilation, Temple has proven that he isn’t simply Here We Go Magic now. He’s still Luke Temple. And Luke Temple is a sound that will be considered timeless generations down the road – maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, catering to ballad, swing, and folk lovers more so, but still playing out with a quality of being engrossed.