NorCal singer-songwriter Luke Temple refuses to put down musical roots. Both under his own name and as part of Here We Go Magic, he’s wandered from dreamkraut to reggae-tinged synth-pop, to severe, off-kilter folk. The only constant in his journey is his light, twangy tenor—it’s no wonder he’s frequently compared to Paul Simon.
And like all journeys, Temple ends up right back where he started, wiser and wearier than when he began. “Wounded Brightness,” the lead single from Temple’s forthcoming album Both-And, refracts his earliest Sufjan Stevens-meets-Timothy Leary freak-folk through a mature, bossa nova prism. Over barebones guitar plucks and woozy synth pulses, Temple shifts between lunar worship and muttering ominously about “bullets that rip right through you,” like an acid trip slipping from good to—wait, are those ants coming out of your eyeballs?
Rather than the fragmented lyrics, the hookiest part of the song is the percussion: the soft drums like rustling grass, the muted tambourine like leaves underfoot and a beautiful ringing triangle like nothing in particular, yet still capturing in a timbre the emotion of a forest stroll under a purple sky. You feel like you’re there, in California’s rolling hills. And can we ask for much more from a folk artist than a sense of place?
Listen to lead single “Wounded Brightness” and Temple’s 2008 Daytrotter Session below. Don’t miss Temple’s just-released album art and tracklist for Both-And, which is out Sept. 13 on Native Cat Recordings, as well as his upcoming tour dates further down.
Both-And Album Art:
02. Don’t Call Me Windy
03. Wounded Brightness
05. Given Our Good Life
06. Taking Chances
07. Empty Promises
08. Henry In Forever Phases
09. 200,000,000 Years Of Fucking
10. Least Of Me
12. Walking Iris
Luke Temple Tour Dates:
09 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Boot & Saddle
10 – Washington, D.C. @ Songbyrd
11 – Columbus, Ohio @ Ace of Cups
13 – Chicago, Ill. @ Empty Bottle
14 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Now That’s Class
15 – Toronto, Ont. @ Monarch
16 – Montreal, Que. @ Brasserie
18 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Baby’s All Right
(All dates with Meernaa)