For Fans Of: Gengahr, The Horrors, Tame Impala
Love the early 2010s psych revival? Well, here lies its resuscitators.
Made up of James Bagshaw (vocals/guitar), Tom Walmsley (bass), Adam Smith (guitar) and now Rens Ottink (drums), Temples create nostalgic psych rock tunes with a modern twist. Along with the likes of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Tame Impala, they’ve been credited as causing the contemporary return of the 60s most prolific genre.
Temples formed in 2012 in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The town has a surprisingly thriving scene, which all members were active in as Bagshaw and Walmsley were even in rival bands while Walmsley also ran his own fanzine. Despite starting as a small home-recording project, they immediately rose to fame with their official debut single – and still their most popular song to date – ‘Shelter Song’ in November 2012 via Heavenly Recordings (King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, The Orielles, The Wytches). Its twanging guitar riffs and mellow melody lead to high praise from Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher, who championed them as the best band in Britain at the time. This momentum built up to Temples supporting The Rolling Stones for their mammoth performance in front of 65,000 people at London’s Hyde Park in July 2013.
Sun Structures, the album that followed in February 2014, was met with critical acclaim as Exclaim! rated it 9/10, while NME gave it 8/10 and called it “a fresh and energised ’60s homage”. It also reached number 2 in the UK Independent Albums Chart and number 7 in the UK Albums Chart as listeners appreciated its nostalgic feel. This was achieved as it was all recorded in Bagshaw’s living room and he also produced it himself. This allowed for the band to experiment and record on the spot to capture the exact moments as they occurred.
With their second full-length release, Volcano, Temples took a sharp turn as they experimented further with atmospheric synth tones which guided them into new territory. Released in March 2017, the 12-track release was also recorded by the band in Bagshaw’s living room, staying authentic to their DIY ethic and further allowing them to explore their sound in a safe setting without external influences affecting their choices. Drowned In Sound put it best: “Opposition is seen too in the clever pairing of both synthetic and analogue sounds: guitars mirror the synth and vice versa, as the idea of psychedelia – rock ‘n’ roll meeting technology, and the studio becoming the instrument to take this all in – really takes hold.”, concluding “Volcano is a fun album of tightly-crafted, catchy melodies.”
For their third and most recent release, Temples changed it up further by moving labels to ATO Records (Alabama Shakes, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard). They also made another grand move from Bagshaw’s living room to a 300-year-old, once-derelict outhouse by his home, which he spent two years renovating into a proper rehearsal space and studio for the band. This new setting has created more stability for them in the sense that they could play as a full band without compromise; something which Bagshaw said played a huge part in the sound of the record.
Hot Motion came in September 2019 and shows their darkest side to date. Moving well away from synths this time, their focus is pure noise rock more in line with their debut. Fizzing with ideas, bursting with kinetic energy and balancing an immediate impact with an enduring, timeless intensity, Hot Motion is a cohesive album in a time of stand alone singles. Temples have created an aural tapestry for dark days; an inviting and warm sanctuary away from the daily churn of information overload. It’s an album of complexity, crafted for repeat listening.
Critics clearly agreed as Temples bagged the prestigious slots of both Album For The Weekend on BBC Radio 1 and Album of the Day on BBC 6Music and entered the UK Official Record Store Chart at #2. Clash rated the album 8/10, while DIY commented “It’s no surprise that with Hot Motion the Kettering bunch are three for three on epic records that froth with lush, honeyed noise.”
Temples are proof that an aging genre can still be progressive as they continue to pave their own path using the same authentic methods and melodies. Tune in now.introducing / temples