The first time I listened to Temples, having no clue who they were, I immediately thought I was listening to some band from the 60’s, contemporaneous of probably The Beatles or The Byrds, that just had never crossed my way before and just decided to show up in my life unannounced to give it a bit of color. The song? What else than “Shelter Song”. Try not to travel in time with that one, I dare you!
Coming from Kettering, a land somewhere between Cambridge and Coventry, they started as a duo in 2012 with James Bagshaw (vocals & guitar) and Tom Walmsley (bassist). They already knew each other way before 2012, when they started the band, having been in rival bands initially then together in another band called The Moons that as well had this nostalgic theme but lacked the Psych-Rock vibe that James and Tom knew they could put into Temples with the addition of two other members to occupy the drums and the synth (as well as rhythm guitar).
Having released four tracks on Youtube they were immediately spotted by a Record Label that gave them the chance of having their first album released in 2014. “Sun Structures” was acclaimed by all the Alternative scene for bringing back the good side of Pop that was lost somewhere in the 60’s with a really good base of Psychedelia. However the supposedly re-known Music Experts like Rolling Stone and Pitchfork gave them 3 stars and 5.5/10 respectively. Do they really understand good Music nowadays? For Noel Gallagher they are just “The Best New Band in Britain” and we could not agree more.
After three long years of wait they did it again. Volcano was released on the 3rd of March and if we and Noel had great expectations but were always sure that something good would come out of it, I’m quite curious how wide will the mouth of those “journalists” from RS and Pitch are going to open in surprise for this one. They had already gave us “Certainty” a song that goes perfectly along the lines they had drawn with their first album and adding to it a strong Pop presence that I felt it was more than Welcome in such a band that coordinates so well the Pop-Psych transition as they do.
However… It was “Strange or Be Forgotten” that they got me. A life motto, a Hymn, a reason to smile. I got to know it a couple of days after its release in the beginning of January and I believe I have heard it every single day since then. A chorus that dignifies the whole class of chorus around the World and that just takes the whole music making by Temples two steps up the ladder. Our Photographer, Bernardo, started by using the picture on Black and White of an Old Man running on a street in a free spirit way with his can and jacket as if he would be a kid again in “a sad and nostalgic way” as he puts it. Perfect Match for this song. Amazing Picture. However today he reposted the same song with a different picture. A picture with a man sitting down on a Bus Stop with a bright red sweater, yellow wall background and green doors. And his description of this picture could not have pictured the Album in any better way. “We can’t imagine this new Album without colours”.
After the 3rd of March we got to know that these were also the first and last song of the Album respectively which also made a lot of sense since at that point when listening to the album you already know what to expect since you know the beginning and the end of the story which gives you the chance to really concentrate in appreciating how did they get from one point to the other. And its with amazing connection points like “How Would You Like To Go” that is probably one of their most trippy songs until now that reminds me of that Shrek scene when they rescue the princess from the Castle due to the “Epicness” level of both the song and the movie scene.
An Album that for being nostalgic sounds fresh in the music industry we have nowadays, it made my day to have listened to it, and if you are a fan of Brit Rock, any subsection or subgenre of it, you will love this because it has that Brit touch that is so typical and so lovely that Temples reproduce in the most majestic way. Bands like Kasabian, The Vaccines and even Rolling Stones were lucky enough to have them as opening band, but now its their time to shine and rewrite 60’s history in the XXI century!