Luke Temple Doesn’t Go It Alone

February 1st, 2010

Here We Go Magic – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 29, 2010

(Photo: Jared Levy)

(Photo: Jared Levy)

Advances in music recording have undeniably given musicians greater ability to compose their own projects. Artists like Neon Indian and tUnE yArDs have embraced the DIY spirit, creating their own lo-fi bedroom productions to considerable fanfare. But when it comes to delivering a live performance, these artists have shed their solitary identities and built groups around their sound. Similarly, Luke Temple morphed his self-titled solo record, Here We Go Magic, from an individual endeavor into a budding young band. As Temple notes in interviews: The sonic texture of the album necessitated forming a band. And judging from Friday’s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, he picked a fantastic group of musicians to complete Here We Go Magic’s sound.

The New York City-based Glass Ghosts and Midnight Masses opened the show. The second band clearly draws its strength from group-oriented music. Midnight Masses is a new side project from …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead multi-instrumentalist Jason Reece and Dragons of Zynth bassist Autry Fulbright. Their band includes two guitarists, a bass player, two drummers and a string section. They frequently featured five-part harmonies that at times were reminiscent of Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Here We Go Magic followed with a smattering of songs from their debut album. As frontman Temple noted during the one-song encore, the band’s oldies only extend to a few months ago. Nevertheless, “Only Pieces” and “Fangela” came to life with fleshed-out vocal arrangements and dynamic instrumental interplay. Bassist Jennifer Turner is truly a talent, providing steady rhythm and excellent harmonizing. The band’s genuine connection and love of playing came through in their music, and I am eager to see how they continue to mature as a group. —Jared Levy