LUKE TEMPLE IS THE front man for New York trio Here We Go Magic. But if that’s a signal to send you racing for the indie-proof bunker, then hold fast, because Florida is a whole different kettle of marlin. It starts with the bass playing some funky offspring of The Meters’ Cissy Strut riff then drifts into a beatified reverie – floating through Flying Lotus-style sonic nebulae while Temple overlays a blue-eyed falsetto like Gene Ween’s on Freedom Of ’76. It’s like white soul got deconstructed and forgot to put itself back together ‘properly’ – or a hypnagogic Hall & Oates, without the Oates.
Then there’s a rather beautiful and mysterious video by director Kris Moyes, which plays out rather like an existential episode of Miami Vice. Touching on the psychic and social costs of the cocaine trade, it dovetails neatly with the music’s mix of supine rippedness and morning-after melancholy.
Florida features on Temple’s new album Good Mood Fool (Secretly Canadian), for which the singer drew on influences including Curtis Mayfield, Gil Evans and the Bulgarian Women’s Choir – stuff that wouldn’t normally get much play, apparently, in a Here We Go Magic band meeting.
“There's people in my band who say ‘I don't want to play anything bluesy’ or ‘it can’t be too funky’,” says Temple. “They see those as clichés. But I think if you take those seeming clichés and go into them with full conviction, what comes out when you get to the other side is actually something more unique.”
Good Mood Fool is out now. We await the other Here We Go Magic guys’ revenge calypso album with bated breath.