Heads up, musical day-trippers: It may only be February, but your album of the year has already arrived. UK golden children Temples have recorded a modern psych-pop masterpiece of a debut album, Sun Structures. The twelve songs contained on this release are all delightful, reverb-drenched odes to days long gone, and are filled with a mystic joie-de-vivre that is impossible to resist.
Sun Structures recycles early singles “Shelter Song” and “Colours to Life,” which is a benefit to anyone who has not been following Temples’ meteoric rise in the last year and a half. UK label Heavenly snapped the youngsters up on the merit of early YouTube demo releases, and fostered the Temples project as it grew from an experimental two-piece consisting of vocalist James Bagshaw and bassist Thomas Warmsley to a fully realized band.
Bagshaw has an effortless air about him as he sings in riddles and gentle rhymes, for example of the “dawn of creation” on “Colours To Life”. Themes that often come across as clichéd and corny are given such a genuine tilt here that it is difficult to fault Bagshaw for drawing from Eastern religion and mythical realms. There is an ease to his lyricism that compliments the classic, clean guitar riffs to gift the listener with a warm feeling.
As well as the early singles, both “Mesmerise” and “Keep In The Dark” have been offered as album singles in the fall of 2013 already. One might think that the album would be tapped out, as four singles is exemplary for a debut, but there are many more hits to be mined here. “A Question Isn’t Answered” is a powerful, mesmerizing track, dense with fuzzed-guitars and loopy, chanted vocals. “The Golden Throne” is a classic party track, oddly reminiscent of early Arctic Monkeys or Heavenly labelmate Edwyn Collins’ “A Girl Like You”. Keyboards clang in ideal spots, tambourines jangle, and, on occasion, harps and handclaps add to the texture of the mix.
There is not a sour sound to be found on Sun Structures. Fans of classic bands like T Rex will fall in love on first listen, as will fans of more recent releases by Foxygen and Tame Impala. Each new song begins on a bombastic, joyous note, and the album plays as a start-to-finish ode to the wonders of nature and the great wide world as seen through round, rose-coloured glasses.