Two years ago, 2 young men from Kettering, England split ways with their former bands (The Moons and Sukie) to create Temples. The duo, consisting of singer-guitarist James Bagshaw and bassist Thomas Warmsley, released four self-produced songs on YouTube, grabbing the attention of a few. Of those was Jeff Barrett, the founder of the London-based, independent label, Heavenly Recordings. Just a couple months following the group’s formation, “Shelter Song” the band’s first single was released through Heavenly. Now, in order to be able to bring their music to a live audience the two needed to add other members. Soon after the release of their debut single they recruited a drummer, Samuel Toms, and a keyboardist, Adam Smith, who were both residents of Kettering too and members of rival bands.
After signing with Heavenly, Temples started to receive a warm reception from big names within the English music industry. The praise was coming from members of the 90’s rock band Suede, Johnny Marr of The Smiths and Modest Mouse, and Noel Gallagher of Oasis. They ran with what they had and were ready to tour and become one of the UK’s next big music acts.
Temples wanted their debut track to influence how they would sound from there on out. It took only 2 weeks for the two to record their first four songs (“Shelter Song”, “The Guesser”, “The Golden Throne”, and “Keep In The Dark”) that would then be released to YouTube. Following those first four songs, their follow-up single titled “Colours To Life” was released in June of 2013. After that was “Keep In The Dark” in October of that year and “Mesmerise” that November. Sun Structures was the band’s debut album and was released in February of this year. It peaked at #2 in UK’s Independent Albums, #7 in UK Albums, #10 in Irish Independent Albums, and #163 on US Billboard 200, some solid success for such a new and unique band.
It has been a while since psychedelic rock music was a part of popular culture, but in recent years bands such as Foxygen and MGMT (more so their 2nd album titled Congratulations) have emerged and it’s making a comeback. If you’re a fan of The Beatles, Tame Impala, or both, then you will be a fan of Temples. Many of their songs aren’t wildly experimental with other sounds, but they do stick to the original psychedelic melodies that can be found tucked away in the songs of pioneer artists such as the Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, and Pink Floyd who were experimenting and altering pop music in their own ways.
Temples have created their songs thus far without the help of a big time producer. The idea of getting one for the future is up in the air and really depends on their future tracks. While recording singles such as “Colours To Life” however, they had someone simply help them out by getting the band more gear to record with and to review their sound. His name is Claudius Mittendorfer, based in NYC and he has helped produce other songs such as “Polish Girl” by Neon Indian, “On The Run” by Kaiser Chiefs, and “New Town Velocity” by Johnny Marr, all songs with similar psychedelic vibes. Bagshaw stated in an interview with The Quietus that both he and Warmsley admire the producers Joe Meek, Jack Nitzsche, and Tony Visconti and get inspiration from songwriters such as David Bowie, Marc Bolan, and Todd Rundgren.
It was in Thomas Bagshaw’s bedroom at his parent’s house where Temples recorded their first few songs, including their first 7” B-side that consisted of “Shelter Song” and “Prisms”. “Shelter Song” was never re-recorded before being placed on the B-side; it is exactly the same as the original version and “Prisms” vocals were re-done just a little bit. Sun Structures includes many great tracks, including “The Golden Throne”, which is one of the first songs they released that includes this very cool ancient Egyptian harmony. It’s not just the sound that melts your mind but it’s the colorfully rich lyrics that draw an attention deep down in Temples’ music. In songs such as “Keep In The Dark” Temples writes all-encompassing lyrics, they are super mesmeric.
The band got off to a quick start by touring around the UK with an array of different artists such as the Mystery Jets, The Vaccines, Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs, Telegram, Spires, Drowners, Tribes, and even opened for The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park. In an interview with Boon Magazine, Temples was presented with a question asking them about their favorite venue they’ve played in so far. The band said their favorite place was Thekla, a venue on a boat in Bristol, England. They played their final show for their tour with Telegram there and apparently it had the best atmosphere, and I can totally sea why. Temples is currently on an extensive US Tour, playing in many cities around the nation. When on tour, they’re definitely the next band that both you and I should see live.
By Benjamin Schechter