This was only the second time I’ve seen the English psych-pop band Temples, but these young lads have clearly matured into an even tighter and more buoyant entity since their last outing. Although they’ve legitimately come into their own, the ringing endorsements from legends like Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr has helped propel them in many ways past their psych contemporaries like Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. They’ve become a far more sonically listener-friendly form of tripped-out psychedelia. Employing catchy beats and pleasant harmonies, this is a band that slowly takes over you, like the brewing approach of an oncoming acid trip after the tab has already dissolved on the tongue and the inevitable journey to the other side has begun.
Opening the show was a splendid new band called Lo Moon, who grabbed my interest with their smooth mixture of musical elements. They are a bit of a mystery act, after seemingly emerging out of nowhere. They have made all sorts of waves rather quickly, scoring a major label deal and top producer, and a spot on the Governors Ball Festival line-up so soon after rising from their cocoon. Apparently, this trio of singer Matt Lowell, guitarist Samuel Stewart, and bassist Crisanta Baker (both of whom are actually multi-instrumentalists, as well), and the addition of a live drummer, all derive from different parts of the globe. That certainly explains some of their widely diverse tastes. When they emerged from the ether of L.A., they proved themselves to be so much more than your typical electro-pop effort. They actually remind me a lot of a Mutemath, with perhaps a bit of Portugal The Man, or even an earlier and humbler Bends-era Radiohead at times. Lowell’s beseeching falsetto paired with a swooning electronic ambiance, and otherworldly instrumental crescendos all makes for a powerful combination. I personally can’t wait for their full-length album to be released and can’t help feeling like we’ll all be hearing a lot more from this impressive new ensemble.
Temples came out on stage bathed in an amazing array of colors and lights that only helped to amplify their trippy appeal. I can’t help but get a strong T. Rex vibe off these guys, and that’s from more than just singer and guitarist James Bagshaw’s impressively crazy fro and curly locks. There’s patience needed getting to the crescendo in their music, but lots of impressive guitar riffing and driving beats on the way there. There’s also lots of hallucinogenic lyrical imagery going on, passing from planets and dimensions to otherworldly Roger Dean worlds of fantasy. Moog-y atmospheres pulse with life and take you on a magical ride. The influences from Brian Eno to early Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and back around again to The Kinks really give you a special space-glam trip. Their just released second disc Volcano is a great groove and consistently never lets you come down from your high.
Article: Dean Keim