You might not know it, but you’re probably already familiar with Luke Temple. Better known as the frontman of Brooklyn-based psych-folkers Here We Go Magic, (which originated as Temple’s solo project, but is now a full band) Temple has reverted back to acting solo for this new album, Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care, which he is releasing under his own name, even though Here We Go Magic used to be a moniker for his solo set-up anyway. Still following?
Opening track ‘In The Open’ oozes the fuzzy, casual quirkiness that Brooklyn natives always seem to do so well. The off-kilter rhythms and fantastically lo-fi production are a joy, while the effortlessly cool ‘More Than Muscle’ sounds like a long-lost Smokey Robinson record, shimmering with a wistful Hitsville chic, making it one of the highlights of the album.
The warm and inviting ‘How Could Muscle’ greets us with a friendly smile and a jovial tap on the back, before ‘Ophelia’ really gets the party started with its honky-tonk piano and yeehah-ing, country-and-western attitude. And while the subdued and slightly unsettling ‘Weekend Warrior’ sounds like the hypnotic soundtrack to an uncomfortable evening spent drifting in and out of a nightmare-ridden sleep, the gentle campfire lullabies ‘So Long, So Long’ and ‘You Belong To Heaven’ are far more likely to induce a warm, contented slumber.
However, the decision to leave the four slow-burning acoustic tracks until the end may not have been a wise one. With these similar-sounding tracks all in a row (‘Ballad For Dick George’, ‘So Long, So Long’, ‘You Belong To Heaven’ and ‘Luck Part’) it’s just a little bit too easy to overlook the final forty per cent of the record.
Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care is blanketed in a warm feeling of Americana-tinged nostalgia and its strength lies in its understated and modest charm. The sound is comfortingly familiar, but Temple’s style of songwriting is timeless. It isn’t an album that longs for your attention or yearns for your love, it’s a far more subtle record than that. Sometimes you just need a comfortable album, an album that you can rely on – and you can definitely rely on this one to provide century-old pleasures.