Since the release of the first self-titled Here We Go Magic record in 2009, Luke Temple has slowly transformed the principles for which his moniker follows. He’s gone from moulding Folktronica-led experimental textures to polished, albeit distracted, synth pop. Now upon the release of his fourth, ‘Be Small’, Temple continues to test exploratory phases whilst attempting to find balance within a pop ethos. It comes, much like some of his previous output, with mixed results.
The record hastily remodels itself between glitchy pop, an age away from the group’s more experimental output, to cosmic soul, moulding folky chords with ‘70s pop synth. Temple attempts to distill the warmth exuded by his melodies but ends up lost in the layers of his over-thought compositions. It’s made further frustrating by the early highlight ‘Stella’, Temple discovering clarity in its condensed sound.
A lot of the time, it feels like Temple is concealing real personality for an attempted route to escapism. ‘Ordinary Feeling’ is a dishearteningly positive contrast, stripping everything back to Temple’s own vulnerable vocal and softly strummed acoustic.
If kept short and sweet, Temple would have made a charmingly laconic record that blossomed in unconventionality, yet sadly here is muddled in his expansive means.