Luke Temple spent 2009 as front man for Here We Go Magic by day and solo artist by night. On the heels of his band’s burgeoning debut, Temple’s own efforts were shelved so that he could spend more time with the group. It’s only now that his third outing as a solo artist, Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care, is being released.
Here We Go Magic’s inspired, experimental psych-pop factors in only sparingly on Temple’s new effort. “In the Open” is a spirited opener, complete with the jangle of bells, soft hints of percussion, and clipped strums of strings backing his expressive tenor. “Ophelia” is an album highlight, the correct blend of country and a hint of pop. Temple’s croon takes on a twang amidst brushes of percussion, feverish guitar, and a hint of accordion. Instrumentals burst forth like a train, gaining momentum with each passing second.
Temple’s fragile falsetto once again takes center stage, with the latter half of the album belonging to slow, powerful, acoustic numbers. At times, his voice is so hushed that the quiet hiss of the tape deck could be counted as an added instrument. The haunting “Weekend Warrior” allows his voice to flutter easily, as lush acoustics and shivers of percussion fade away, culminating in an ending of chords and whispered ahhh’s. Temple’s intimate lyrics shine forth as a solo artist. For example, “Ballad for Dick George” relies solely on Temple’s ability as a vocalist to weave a tale of loneliness: “Laying in a hospital…/no one here to sit with me/no wife, no friends, no family,” he painstakingly recounts, with only delicate acoustics to back him.
Temple’s solo work is an entirely different sound from his work with Here We Go Magic. It is warm, rich, and tinged in the soft, lo-fi fuzz of four-track recording. Losing the dreamy haze that often accompanies Here We Go Magic’s sound, Temple focuses on simplicity, delivering the promised “country record” with a rare hint of pop.
Essential Tracks: “More than Muscle”, “Ophelia”, and “How Could I Lie”