“Doing something different with a pop song, breaking the convention of verses and choruses — it’s something we always keep in mind when we’re recording,” says bassist Tom Warmsley, who founded Temples with singer/guitarist James Bagshaw in the summer of 2012. Looking like a West Coast psych band, Temples bear all the hallmarks of cosmic travellers. There’s the band name, for starters, there are track titles that sound like JG Ballard novels (Prisms, The Golden Throne, Sun Structures) and there’s the fact that they take incense sticks on the road with them. But if all of the above suggests Temples are backwards-looking, think again. The Kettering four-piece’s music is a mix of scuzzy glam stomp, dreamy, 12-string-drenched folk-rock, droning psych and more – all given a 2013 spin. Retro is a dirty word.
LA-based Lionel Williams is an internationally exhibited visual artist and musician who’s been releasing music under his Vinyl Williams alias since 2010. As a result of experiencing religious and cultural dissonance growing up in the state of Utah, Williams reacts by creating dream worlds of religious and cultural harmony. It’s through his art—both musical, visual, and the music videos he’s directed for bands like Tears for Fears and Unknown Mortal Orchestra—that Williams projects himself well beyond the stasis of his youth, his metaphysical dream worlds in constant forward motion, with ancient mystical symbols, utopian architecture and exotic locales all enveloped in a rippling, lo-fi haze of psychedelia.
For his third full-length album, Williams explores a world both real and imaginary. Brunei, his second LP for Company Records, follows the flight of an incorporeal being from Xol, the gravity cluster orbiting the star Alnilam, the center of the Orion constellation. The record explores the ideals of peace and harmony with maximal pop tones, shoegaze textures, and krautrock rhythms. The album features collaborations with Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick and Medicine’s Brad Laner.