PLUS ART D'ECCO, SHADOWGRAPHS
Following their brilliant debut album Sun Structures; named Rough Trade Shop’s Album Of The Year 2014; Temples return with their 2nd LP, Volcano, in 2017, a record that has been recorded and produced by the band in James’s home studio.The album arrives to outstanding critical acclaim; Album Of The Month in Q Magazine and DIY, and 4* reviews in NME, Mojo, The Times and Clash Magazine.“When they let loose on ‘Celebration’ they’re an impossibly addictive proposition and with ‘Oh The Saviour’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Mirror’ they have their very own status-changing anthems” – Q Magazine“The band have not only built on their debut, but expanded their sound hugely” – Clash MagazineThe lead single Certainty was added to radio and Spotify playlists around the world, including an A list at 6music UK, and was Hype Machine’s No 1 most blogged for 3 days.The video has had almost 500K views; watch it here“It’s a bewitching, colour-soaked, synth-enhanced return.” – Clash Magazine“Stadium-ready, cinematic psych song” – NME Magazine“Certainty, has a streaky, synthy sense of uplift to it.” – StereogumThe band were invited to perform on France’s No 1 prime time show Quotidien and also Last Call With Carson Daly, following appearances on The Ellen show, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on their debut release.Second single Strange Or Be Forgotten had similar success around the world picking up playlists on BBC Radio 2, 6 music, Radio X and Virgin Radio in the UK, 3FM in Holland, RTS Couleur 3 in Switzerland, DR P6 Beat in Denmark and many significant Spotify additions.The video has racked up over 200K views so far; see it hereTemples have spent the last 2 years touring the world – North American headline tours, sold out UK tours including dates at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire and Forum, as well as performances at Coachella, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Lowlands and Austin Psych Fest.
The Gulf Islands of the Pacific Northwest are an enigma. The islands jut up through the brisk waters of the Pacific Ocean, and just as the likes of Vancouver and Seattle exist at the intersection of opulences both natural and manmade, the islands host multitudes in their lush, hushed red cedar and Doug Fir skyscrapers. Art d’Ecco is one such multitude: an unapologetic, inclusive rock and roll mystic in a wig and lipstick.
d’Ecco’s new record, Trespasser, is a product of those islands, where he wrote and prepared the album in a cottage. It was in these woods, shrouded in fog rolling off the ocean and surrounded by deer, rabbits, and a reclusive neighbour, that Art d’Ecco found not just the clarity of stillness, but theloneliness and isolation of it.
When d’Ecco moved into his grandmother’s cottage on one of the islands, he hadn’t planned on creating a new project. But, as it often does, circumstance charted his course. His grandmother, living with Alzheimer’s, suffered a related phenomenon called ‘sundowning,’ which triggers increased agitation and anxiety around sunset. “The only way to calm this lady down was to sit down at the piano,” says d’Ecco. He would play “Bohemian Rhapsody,” passing it off as Beethoven. “She would sit there for a couple hours just listening to me noodle away.” After she was relocated, d’Ecco remained in the empty house where he had played as a child. Draped in memory, he gravitated toward the piano, spending the long, lonesome, quiet nights on the bench before the instrument. This is where Art d’Ecco was created.He relocated to a new cottage, but depression and loneliness followed him. Determined to return to music but cut off from the mainland music scene he was once a part of, he built a studio in his new lodgings, and barricaded himself with copies of Deerhunter’s Cryptograms, Bowie’s Low, and choicekrautrock records. In this solitude, d’Ecco would chase tones for hours. The result is a richly-realized confluence of the ferocious spark of those trailblazers and a distinct sadness, with d’Ecco as mad scientist, stitching together these delicious fragments and animating them.
The fluidity that d’Ecco embraces had its day in the sun with glam rock’s celebration of androgyny, but the mainstream in 2018 is painfully lacking in beyond-the-binary experiences. d’Ecco wants to change that. “It’s gonna make some people feel uncomfortable,” he says. “Maybe I don’t belong. But I’m pushing my agenda on the masses.”
That agenda includes more than overdriven guitars, Italian analogue synths, and d’Ecco’s ear for melancholic melodicism. It means balancing the scales, encouraging inclusivity and love, and dethroning the dudes-in-jeans-and-t-shirts aesthetic from alternative rock. “I’m into androgyny and the theatre of the bizarre and the absurd, and challenging the masculine overtones of the rock and roll industry,” he says firmly. “The aesthetic of rock is a little tired.”
Opener “Never Tell” kicks off with that heaviness, a bass-driven burn in the vein of Roxy Music that finds d’Ecco cooing secretively in falsetto over the pumping rhythm: “I never tell/Loose lips sink ships.” Tracks like “Who Is It Now?” recall the throbbing grind of Let’s Dance while “Last In Line” bursts in with Raw Power guitars before expanding to d’Ecco’s soon-to-be-trademark synth theatrics as he cries, “It’s just a thing called love, and I keep fucking it up!” “Dark Days (Revisited)” finds him “looking back through the hourglass of time,” bringing a darkened period of his life to the surface as guitars and keys careen out of control in a miasmal haze. d’Ecco says its about acknowledging darkness, and triumph over it. “I wanted it to sonically represent frustration,” he says.
This, really, is at the core of Trespasser: a call to expose our pain, set it to a melody, and dance to it in a darkened room. “Trespasser is an album about what is, what was, and what could’ve been,” d’Ecco says. Sometimes you gotta get dark before you find the light.”
Shadowgraphs is a neo-psychedelic band from Portland, OR, comprised of internationally known collage artist Bryan Olson and fellow German cosmonaut Charles Glade (Wils). Both ends met after being introduced through a mutual friend who thought the two shared similar musical interests. Bryan and Wils instantly sparked a connection and songs began to emerge. The two would experiment late nights with tape machines, sharing music and production ideas, and writing songs. After only four months of meeting, an EP titled “Return to Zero” was written and the band was officially born with Ethan Ricks on Bass and Cody Hare on Drums.
Since Return to Zero, Shadowgraphs put out a two song EP titled “Midnight Tea” containing a Syd era Pink Floyd cover of “See Emily Play” along with an unreleased Kinks cover of “This Strange Effect.” The EP was featured on New Zealand music Blog “The Active Listener”.
Venomous Blossoms, Shadowgraphs follow-up 10 song LP, is finished and currently being pressed for Vinyl with an expected release date in April under the label Golden Brown out of Portland, OR. This LP was recorded all to 2” 24 track tape at Bryan’s home studio with the band, followed by mix down to 1/2” tape in Athens, GA at Chasepark Transduction Studios with Drew Vandenberg (Toro y Moi, Of Montreal, Deerhunter), and then finally shipped out to Telegraph Mastering in Portland, OR for Mastering.
In the meantime the band has been picking up momentum playing shows and festivals with acts such as Son Lux, Vinyl Williams, Sunflower Bean, Ringo Deathstarr, Shonen Knife, Natalie Prass, Neon Indian, and many more.