Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here We Go Magic's recipe: layer sounds, add heat, and let cool

By Meredith Deliso

Lately, Luke Temple has been on a cooking kick.

“I just saw ‘Julie and Julia,’ and it’s gotten me kind of obsessed with the idea of cooking,” says the musician. “I’ll actually wake up, have ingredients lying around in my head, and realize they want to be together. And I have to figure out a way to make that happen. It’s nice to put random elements together and see what happens.”

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the musician was talking not about food but, well, music. But, for him, the two processes are very similar. Over the past year, Temple and his band, Here We Go Magic, have been gaining momentum for their ambient sound, an experiment for the singer-songwriter that found him working in layers and arranging his ingredients in a nontraditional song structure. Magic was born out of his bedroom with the help of his analog synths and cassette 4-track in a process Temple has described as a “call and response.”

“I kept building on these really linear forms...and was less involved in specific arrangements and more considering the whole sound,” he says.

Last year around this time, the band played Southpaw in Park Slope upon the release of their self-titled debut. This January 29, the band – comprised of Temple (guitar and vocals), Michael Bloch (guitar, vocals), Kristina Lieberson (keyboard), Peter Hale (drums), and Jennifer Turner (bass), headline Music Hall of Williamsburg in advance of the release of their sophomore album, out on Secretly Canadian this spring.

The album finds the band still dealing in repetition, but “with more of an expanse of sound. It’s jam-packed with information,” says Temple, who, when not on the road with the likes of Grizzly Bear and The Walkman, currently lives in Williamsburg. “It’s more song-oriented...but it still has that ambient quality to it. It’s not going to disappoint, I don’t think.”

Despite his confidence, Temple is not immune to the pressure that often accompanies the release of a sophomore album.

“Here We Go Magic started as a way to do more experimental stuff. There was less pressure,” says Temple. “Now ears are waiting to hear it, so that’s exciting. That’s something I’ve never experienced before, actual anticipation for what I’m doing.”

While Magic afforded an escape from his pervious work, Temple might have to leave his messing around in the metaphorical kitchen to his solo work, as Magic currently takes up most of his, and critics’, attention. Though he hasn’t abandoned his personal brand altogether; later this year he looks to put out a record of Luke Temple music on Western Vinyl.

And, while he’s still in Brooklyn and not on the road, he’ll also keep at it in the kitchen. Given his predilection for layers, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise what Temple is most interested in tackling next.

“Custard desserts,” says the musician, “like, folding egg whites into cream. That’s a really great thing.”

Here We Go Magic play Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 North 6th St.) 9 p.m. With Midnight Masses and Glass Ghost. Tickets are $12 in advance or $14 day of show. For more information, call 718-486-5400.


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