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Here We Go Magic
The January EP
Secretly Canadian Records
www.herewegomagicband.tumblr.com


Luke Temple is not new to the music circle. I saw the band open for Grizzly Bear in Boston for a friend's birthday back in 2009. After hearing their set, I turned to my friend and with empathetic sarcasm said, "that's where they'll always be, they'll always be on the opening stage." But with the release of Pigeons, Temple and friends proved me wrong - the band had solidified their color and direction, nestling in their own niche of the indie nest.

A lot of music critics talk about "growth" or "development" as if a band is a unanimous single-celled organism being cultured in a petri dish. Generally, I find such observations to lack verisimilitude (and imagination), but in Temple's case the height of exploration between each release is so salient that his deliberation and effort remain lucid. The January EP is a wide stride for the band, as Temple and company walk all over the conventions of popular music songwriting. For example, "Tulip," the first song on January, is in 5/4 (adding an extra beat to the typical 4/4 found is most popular songs). "Song In Three" is a slight misnomer to the third track, as the guitar riff shifts from 7/8 to 8/8 while beating against an underlying pulse of 3. These metric choices jar the listeners and tantalize our intellect, but most importantly sound interesting. It is this intent, I think, that makes The January EP monumental for Temple.

Now, meddling with meter is not revolutionary (see the nonisochronous variations of The Dirty Projectors) but it adds zest and sparkle that makes this EP feel more than just a collection of meaningless demos. The remaining tracks stay true to Temple's delicate craft; the narrative prowess of "Hollywood" is heartbreaking, "Hands In The Sky" is haunting, while "Backwards Time" remains retroactive to its predictable aesthetic - 80's chorused guitars are plucked over a synthesized organ sound.

This collection of songs, I am hoping, foreshadows songs and ideas yet to come. For Temple is pushing his process away from the stagnancy and redundancy. The efforts are evident, but let me see the LP.

-Parker Tichko

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