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Rock - Released February 10, 2014 | Heavenly Recordings

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Temples are four young lads from Kettering who for all purposes sound like they just popped in from 1967 after a short trip on a paisley-bedecked TARDIS. They don't miss a single sonic trick; from soaring 12-string jangle to backwards-tracked guitars, flowing vocal harmonies, swooning Mellotrons, and baroque organ interludes, they know their musical history like they lived through it. Their 2014 debut, Sun Structures, is a nostalgia trip for sure, while at the same time sounding totally modern too. The band's vocalist/guitarist, James Bagshaw, produced the album and he goes for a sound that's happily mired in the past, but has a cleanly scrubbed punch that gives the album some real power. For example, the drums have a kick that would have been hard to get in 1967 unless you recorded at EMI Studio Two with George Martin at the helm. Bagshaw and the rest of the band also prove to be masterful at layering sounds together, dropping parts in and out for dramatic effect, bringing in surprising bits of flair (like the harp on "Keep in the Dark"), conjuring up impressively diverse guitar tones, and generally making the kind of record bands wish they could have made back then. Many of Temples' contemporaries wish they could have made this record too, because not only does it sound amazing, but the songs are like a collection of hit singles mashed together in a 54-minute cavalcade of brilliant melodies, singable choruses, and mesmerizing rhythms. Chief among them is the album's first track, "Shelter Song," which kicks things off in the clouds with a divine melody and some hilariously pretentious but sweet lyrics, and really lets you know right away that the band is doing something special. The rest of the album flows from trippy psych pop ballads ("Move with the Season") to gaily skipping, Donovan-esque rambles ("Keep in the Dark") to hard-as-granite blues stompers with heavy guitars ("A Question Isn't Answered") to poppy tracks that bubble like melted chocolate and have a hard-candy crunch ("Mesmerise") to epic-sounding, slowly unspooling psych jams ("Test of Time") as Temples merrily grab everything from the past that works and effortlessly makes it work for them. The only possible complaint one might have with the record is that everything sounds just right, that it's maybe too perfect of a re-creation of the past without enough of their own personality injected into the proceedings. In this case, though, Temples play with enough energy, Bagshaw sings with enough angelically pure emotion, and the overall project flows with enough sonic imagination that they easily avoid the charge. Sun Structures is an impressive debut that would be legendary now if it had been released in 1967; in 2014 it's merely the best psych pop around. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 3, 2017 | Heavenly Recordings

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With their first album, Sun Structures, Temples tapped into the essence of what makes psychedelic pop so enchanting. The swirling sonic textures filled with chiming guitars and booming basslines, the trippy arrangements and moody melodies...they combined into an aural experience on par with the best psych pop. When it came time to record their second album, Volcano, the band made some changes. This time James Bagshaw split the writing duties with the rest of the band, they moved to a bigger room in his house to record, and they added synthesizers to the array of instruments. The biggest shift isn't anything tangible; it's more in the tone and outlook of the record. Sun Structures had the feel of a band whose members were stuck deep in their own heads, making music that echoed the bands they loved. Volcano sounds like an album made to be played on a big stage at an outdoor festival. The sounds have been simplified, the choruses pumped up, and the vocals stripped of the reverb haze they were buried in. The arrangements are still fully colored-in, but they are sharper and less swathed in psych pop mystery. Where a track like Sun Structures' "Shelter Song" enveloped the listener in a murky, entrancing embrace that felt personal and somewhat secret, the songs on Volcano are destined to be sung along to at top volume by strangers in a field. That's not an intrinsically bad thing, but it does mean that listening to Volcano is a very different kind of experience. The synthesizers on the opening track, "Certainty," see to that right away, and the coldness that they bring to the mix is in direct contrast with the expansive 12-string electric guitar sound that dominated Sun Structures. That being said, there are still many good things to be found on Volcano. The band still has a way with a hook -- the synth parts on "Certainty" are liable to be an unshakeable earworm after one spin -- and the songs occasionally take flight on waves of synths and guitars, especially on the back half of the record when the band gets a second wind. "Open Air" and "In My Pocket" have the uptempo strum and strut the Cure had at their stadium rock peak during the late '80s, "Mystery of Pop" suggests what Ratatat might have sounded like if they were huge Left Banke fans, and "Roman God-like Man" has a nicely chugging rhythm that bursts into some sweet harmony guitar leads. Fans of the first album may be disappointed by the changes, especially since the band takes most of the psych out of its pop. Those who stick around will find that Volcano is a pretty good modern pop record. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 27, 2019 | ATO Records

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On their album Volcano (2017), Temples placed their guitars to one side and turned to keyboards and synths. Released three years after Sun Structures (their playful debut album which often brought to mind The Beatles, The Zombies and Pink Floyd from the Syd Barrett era) the British group cooked up some new psychedelic pills that mixed sixties/seventies sonorities with more contemporary Tame Impala-esque sounds. Still as dreamlike as ever, Hot Motion is made up of the usual Temples DNA and also includes multiple references. Like the single Context for example. “This track was originally written as an observation of words being taken out of context” explains frontman James Bagshaw, “and how that changes the sentiment and meaning of words. This thought process crossed over into the musicality of the song. I wanted to reinvigorate the idea of the guitar solo, and also re- contextualise influences from my favourite musical pioneers. There is a nod to Les Paul and Mary Ford, and the guitar solo pays homage to a recording technique made famous on the piano sound on In My Life by The Beatles. We recorded the guitar solo at half speed, and then sped it up afterwards.” Aiming to be more ambitious on this album, Temples also reveal tracks like It’s All Coming Out where their almost cinematographic arrangements echo John Barry from his golden age in the sixties. A brilliant record packed full of surprises. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released July 7, 2014 | Heavenly Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 2, 2020 | ATO Records

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Rock - Released February 10, 2014 | Heavenly Recordings

Temples are four young lads from Kettering who for all purposes sound like they just popped in from 1967 after a short trip on a paisley-bedecked TARDIS. They don't miss a single sonic trick; from soaring 12-string jangle to backwards-tracked guitars, flowing vocal harmonies, swooning Mellotrons, and baroque organ interludes, they know their musical history like they lived through it. Their 2014 debut, Sun Structures, is a nostalgia trip for sure, while at the same time sounding totally modern too. The band's vocalist/guitarist, James Bagshaw, produced the album and he goes for a sound that's happily mired in the past, but has a cleanly scrubbed punch that gives the album some real power. For example, the drums have a kick that would have been hard to get in 1967 unless you recorded at EMI Studio Two with George Martin at the helm. Bagshaw and the rest of the band also prove to be masterful at layering sounds together, dropping parts in and out for dramatic effect, bringing in surprising bits of flair (like the harp on "Keep in the Dark"), conjuring up impressively diverse guitar tones, and generally making the kind of record bands wish they could have made back then. Many of Temples' contemporaries wish they could have made this record too, because not only does it sound amazing, but the songs are like a collection of hit singles mashed together in a 54-minute cavalcade of brilliant melodies, singable choruses, and mesmerizing rhythms. Chief among them is the album's first track, "Shelter Song," which kicks things off in the clouds with a divine melody and some hilariously pretentious but sweet lyrics, and really lets you know right away that the band is doing something special. The rest of the album flows from trippy psych pop ballads ("Move with the Season") to gaily skipping, Donovan-esque rambles ("Keep in the Dark") to hard-as-granite blues stompers with heavy guitars ("A Question Isn't Answered") to poppy tracks that bubble like melted chocolate and have a hard-candy crunch ("Mesmerise") to epic-sounding, slowly unspooling psych jams ("Test of Time") as Temples merrily grab everything from the past that works and effortlessly makes it work for them. The only possible complaint one might have with the record is that everything sounds just right, that it's maybe too perfect of a re-creation of the past without enough of their own personality injected into the proceedings. In this case, though, Temples play with enough energy, Bagshaw sings with enough angelically pure emotion, and the overall project flows with enough sonic imagination that they easily avoid the charge. Sun Structures is an impressive debut that would be legendary now if it had been released in 1967; in 2014 it's merely the best psych pop around. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 11, 2017 | Heavenly Recordings

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Rock - Released November 10, 2014 | Heavenly Recordings

Listening to Temples debut album, Sun Structures, it's hard to see any need for the tracks to be remade, remixed, or restructured in any way. The English foursome arranged their trippy, heavily '60s-inspired songs to a degree of perfection that barely any bands in the original psych pop wave achieved, and finding someone to do the job right seems like a fool's errand. Every note, inflection, and flourish was just right, from the hazily romantic vocals down to the echoing thump of the floor toms. To pick up a brush and try to improve on a masterpiece like this would require a hardy soul, to say the least. Temples and their label, Heavenly, turned to two masters of the remix and revamp to take a shot. Erol Alkan and Richard Norris have both done excellent work separately, as they have together as Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve. Their brilliant reanimation of Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks" is rock-solid proof of that. Here the duo does the near-impossible and turns the Temples album into something equally as interesting and worthwhile as the original. The duo's m.o. doesn't involve tearing down and rebuilding; they keep plenty of vocals and other original sounds from the album. Instead, they stretch and amplify what's already there while adding occasional sounds as they see fit to help bring out the album's innately dreamlike textures. They set the songs free from the tightly constructed arrangements, giving the sounds room to billow and expand, filling the air with great clouds of psychedelic candy. When they do come down to earth, like on their take of "A Question Isn't Answered" with its nasty-sounding bass and thundering drums, they prove to be just as nimble and handy with the EQ dials. It's an impressive feat from a production point of view for sure, but more than that it's a compelling take on an already great album. Temples were right to trust Alkan and Norris with their work; the duo treated it with care, wrapped it in color and light, and handed back something almost as special as the original. One can't ask for much more than that. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 26, 2016 | Heavenly Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 5, 2019 | ATO Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 5, 2019 | ATO Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 21, 2013 | Heavenly Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 4, 2013 | Heavenly Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 16, 2017 | Heavenly Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 18, 2016 | Heavenly Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 1, 2013 | Heavenly Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 13, 2019 | ATO Records

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Electronic - Released May 22, 2012 | Ecstasy Records

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Classical - Released May 15, 2014 | Temples

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Rock - Released April 11, 2014 | Temples