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Temples | Exotico (2023)


Deep in the making of their new album Exotico, British psych-rockers Temples learned of the early-modern phenomenon of phantom islands: bodies of land included on maps for a period of time but later found to be nonexistent, often the consequence of oceanic mirage or deliberate mythmaking. Produced by Sean Ono Lennon, the Kettering-bred band’s fourth full-length takes place in a similarly mystical setting, an impossibly utopic island dreamed up by singer/guitarist James Bagshaw, bassist Tom Walmsley, keyboardist/guitarist Adam Smith, and drummer Rens Ottink. With its resplendent collage of psychedelia and krautrock and time-bending dream-pop, Exotico brings that world to life in crystalline detail, all while exploring an entire spectrum of existential themes: impermanence, mortality, our connection with nature and the wild immensity of the mind. Equal parts cerebral and celestial, the result is a truly immersive body of work, fully affirming Temples as one of today’s most forward-thinking and endlessly inventive rock bands. ATO Records

Temples: Exotico

Mixed by Dave Fridmann (Beach House, Spoon, The Flaming Lips) and mainly recorded at Lennon’s studio in upstate New York, Exotico continues the collaboration begun on Temples’ Lennon-produced 2020 single “Paraphernalia.” While touring behind their 2019 album Hot Motion, Temples crossed paths with Lennon at the Desert Daze festival in Southern California and instantly felt a profound creative connection with the songwriter/musician/producer. “Everything that Sean does, he puts his heart into completely,” says Walmsley. “Because of that, he ended up treating our songs with as much care, dedication, and passion as if they were his own.”
Although Temples created portions of Exotico at their home studio back in England, their 12 days of sessions at Lennon’s studio marked a significant departure from the self-contained approach they’d adhered to since their debut album Sun Structures (a 2014 release The Quietus likened to a series of “woozy daydreams that will embed themselves further in with each listen”). To that end, the band broadened their musical palette to include a vast expanse of instrumentation—a fitting choice for a body of work inspired by everything from classical symphonies to Italian horror soundtracks to Brill Building-era girl groups. “On previous albums the way we recorded was all very DIY, so it was a fantastic creative experience to work with someone like Sean,” says Bagshaw. “If we had an idea but weren’t necessarily sure how to get that exact sound, we could communicate what we were looking for and he’d have everything all set up before we even finished the sentence.” ATO Records

Audio CD:


  • Liquid Air
  • Gamma Rays
  • Exotico
  • Sultry Air
  • Cicada
  • Oval Stones
  • Slow Days
  • Crystal Hall
  • Head In The Clouds
  • Giallo
  • Inner Space
  • Meet Your Maker
  • Time Is A Light
  • Fading Actor
  • Afterlife
  • Movements of Time

Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ ATO Records
Original Release Date ‏ : ‎ 2023
Label ‏ : ‎ ATO Records
Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1

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