Dunedin based Julian Temple Band have recently released their fourth album entitled ‘Upsidedownbackwards’. The well toured quartet have been sharpening their craft across NZ, Australia and the USA, since 2010’s ‘Balance Escapes’. A darkly brooding bluesy folk album, Julian Temple has stuck to the sound that long-time fans know as ‘the loudest blues band in the world whispering’ accompanied on the record by bittersweet violins and group vocals – it’s an easy record to get lost in. Although the music itself is of top quality, it’s Temple’s lyrics that jump out of the mix and into your head. If Jack Johnson had spent less time surfing and listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more time drinking in bars and listening to Tom Waits, he’d sound like this. Lyrics move from sentimental (Upsidedownbackwards) to downright strange (My Heart, Bath Salts), Temple’s voice is strong and he’s believable in his story telling, even when it gets a little eerie. - Westley Holdsworth, NZ Musician Magazine
JULIAN TEMPLE BAND
This is album number four from the Dunedin-based blues, jam, sometimes roots band who are as entertaining through their tour blogs as they are with their socially aware music. Including a new line-up of violin, bass, drums, guitar and that familiar forced whisper lead vocal, the music has at times a slightly gypsy-jazz character to it. Regardless, it’s still a mystery why more Kiwis haven’t embraced the talented locals. After all, they are a fully fledged international touring band with Jules having released a solo album while he continued to tour the US, Australia and New Zealand. They also engender the most enigmatic approach to musicality with breathy repetition (“My Heart”) that seamlessly unravels into melodic lyrics and head flicking vamping. And that’s not even mentioning the vast areas of musical openness which fortunately doesn’t require Temple to fill the spaces with layers of unnecessary instrumentation. The title track is a favourite with sprinkles of violin throughout, moody guitar and soaring contrasts of vocal dexterity. Another track (“Sleep”) is emotive and captivating and a reminder of just how much talent the Temple trio really are. This album has become my summer go-to for the new year and with a frantic touring schedule, would do well to get to one of their gigs. The album is almost as good as being there…Almost. – Heemi Katane-Hill, M2 Magazine, N.Z.
Julian Temple Band.
Not as instantly accessible as their last couple of albums, Upsidedownbackwards captures a road-honed Julian Temple waxing lyrical on his trusty acoustic once again. Working from a shadowy palatte that is often at odds with the breezy melodies that Temple conjures at ease, it's the addition of Alex Vaatstra on violin that has the most profound effect. Upsidedownbackwards is a slow burner, a little loose around the edges, but still containing some captivating experimental flourishes that hint of something great waiting in the wings.
Single download: My Heart
For those who like: Grant Lee Buffalo, Tom Waits, Ledfoot
4 stars (out of 5)
- Mark Orton, Otago Daily Times
It almost seems that whilst making this record (the third from this Dunedin three-piece), instead of taking the straight path, they have veered off course to a road that is both dark and dirty. Temple seems to be sitting right on the edge of his emotions throughout the record, which you instantly appreciate from opening title track. The vocals are perfectly raspy and his guitar playing gritty, both being the shining attributes of this album. Not to say that the rhythm section is below par by any means. PMK and Scott Campbell tightly sit exactly where they need to be, emphasising the peaks and troughs of intensity whenever the music requires it. Debt Collector has got a wicked groove with a good amount of grit but Little Red Shed is the highlight for me with a fantastically delivered vocal that is truly ghostly. It takes you on a journey, ending in an explosive manner. There isn’t a kaleidoscope of sounds on this album, but it doesn’t need it. It’s just three guys who know exactly what they are doing. - Jason Huss, NZ Musician Magazine
GROOVE GUIDE REVIEW: 4/5 by Roel Wilson
The Julian Temple Band have an organic sense of feel that could only come from a band that has released three albums, and tirelessly toured the country for close to a decade. This album is full of uneven verse lengths, unconventional timings and strange song structures, but in a way that sounds natural and uncontrived – the unfathomable mathematics of the ocean. The surfy, acoustic driven sound of previous albums has been overtaken by darker water in the form of heavy minimalist guitar. True to the title, the album starts with catchy numbers like single ‘Debt Collector,’ (which also has a great video) but throughout the record the structures become stranger and the lyrics sparser; a fluid album expanding into gas. - Roel Wilson, Groove Guide, NZ
Julian Temple Band are a group that never fail to disappoint live, and this was no exception as they took to the main stage. Once described as "like the loudest blues band in the world whispering" It is easy to see where that impression comes from with Temple's howling blues & soul inspired vocals ripping through the listeners with the type of pained singing and lyrics that come from a man who has walked his fair share of hard yards. The fantastic rhythm section that is PMK and Scott Campbell perfectly support the elegant guitar that underpins the vocals, which often erupt into a haunting falsetto. Musically, the band constantly challenge your expectations, leaving you wondering what will happen next, and hanging out for more even after the band has long left the stage. - Drew Handcock, www.dunedinmusic.com
> Julian Temple Band. Balance Escapes. Oscillosonic Records.
4 stars (out of 5)
Releasing its third full-length player hot on the heels of last year's excellent Quiet Earth, the Julian Temple Band seemingly has no shortage of top tunes to track.
Apart from the title track, which curiously mimics the melody of Quiet Earth, Temple's trusty Les Paul is either blazing the way forward or chugging at the frayed edges of his strained vocals.
With assistance from some polished accomplices - Paul McLennan-Kissell on drums and bassist Scott Campbell - Temple is freed to grasp at the raspier end of his range.
Balance Escapes is the best yet from Dunedin's finest musical import.
Single download: Black Holes for Eyes
For those who like: Ed Harcourt, John Butler Trio, Lindsay Buckingham, Tame Impala
- Mark Orton, Otago Daily Times
The Julian Temple Band started the show. For just two musicians, Julian and his drummer (PMK), they produced a powerful, edgy sound. With some creative looping their sound seemed much bigger, and as the crowd warmed to them they got into a quite sensational groove. Julian is obviously a passionate man about his music and this came across strongly as they created music that flowed, ebbed and thundered to some epic peaks, then retreated to sublime introspection. A sensational opening sound for the night. - Scurvy Dog Rob, Dunedinmusic.com
"Julian Temple is an accomplished songwriter who demonstrates great diversity on this album. His voice has a delicious American twang that he brought with him do Dunedin a fair few years ago. Temple's vocal range is impressive; he can sing surprisingly higher (on 'Cyclone') than most other gents. He has a lovely gentleman's whisper ('Quiet Earth') but he also get really growly, raucous and loud ('Califorme/Speedy'). When he wants to belt it out he proves perfectly capable, and in the middle of a song he can go from the whispers to the shouts with ease, demonstrating his control and all around vocal competency. The songs are all really catchy and straight to the point, he writes a damn good pop song. Pop, however, doesn't quite cut it as there are international rhythms; 'Guitarra' has a real latin groove and there are tempo changes througout the album which makes it all the more interesting to listen to than your regular singer-songwriter with bass and drums band. The musicianship is great - all members compliment eachother and the songs well. The production is clear, with everything audible and sitting well together in the mix. You may not have had the pleasure to encounter the Julian Temple Band previously for yourself but the album is well worth your time. It's great to listen to no matter what style you prefer." - Fleur Jack, Rip It Up Magazine, NZ
"At times it feels as though one must cut a swathe through crops of singer/songwriters to get to the real treasures of the genre in this country, so prolific are our ranks of musicians who favour the blend of verse and strum. That said, when you do come across the odd gem it makes it all the more special, and though Julian Temple has elaborated on the concept some (i.e. the incorporation of two other members, effectively constituting a band), the essence of singer/songwriterism is still hefty in presence throughout this album. One can instantly detect a very international flavour to the music, and you mightn’t be surprised that Julian Temple hails from San Francisco, and there is no denying the American influence that makes this stick out like a sore thumb in the genre. Add to that a heaping helping of roots/Pacifika feel, blues, contemporary folk and funk, and what you get is... well... anything but a singer/songwriter if you didn’t know any better. But you do, and it’s there, underneath all of the genre twisting and pulling in what is really a fairly sparse arrangement. At times, elements of the musical delivery seem forced, but that’s small change by contrast to the general ease you will experience when the Julian Temple Band slip into a groove and stay there. Reccomended acoustic/groove/chill out and then some, and indeed a wee gem, albeit with a bit of a spit shine." - John Paul Carrol, NZ Musician Magazine
"Julian Temple Band. Quiet Earth. Oscillosonic Records
4 stars (out of 5)
With an inquisitive eye and fantastic storytelling, the San Fran-Kiwi seizes vignettes of life and wrings the hell out of them.
Backed by the slick rhythm section of Matt Brook and Paul McLennan-Kissel, band leader Julian Temple's right hand is the key, tenderly caressing his beloved acoustic one moment, dishing out a hiding the next - the perfect accompaniment to his often pained vocal interplay.
Temple's muse owes a lot to the cosiness of the Purakaunui cottage where this was captured. Quiet Earth's mash-up of styles is awash with layers of refined overdubs - the perfect sonic accompaniment to spring.
Single download: Temple pays tribute to an iconic Southern Man... Speedy
For those who like: Keziah Jones, Dave Matthews, Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits" - Mark Orton, Otago Daily TImes, N.Z.
Smooth, well played tones filled the club and we were treated to some great music played by experienced musicians. It is obvious that the band has been playing together for some time as the energy between them all is palpable. Paul on drums is the most relaxed looking drummer I have seen hitting the beat with an air of nonchalance. Bass playing that winds up and down your spine from Matt, and Julian’s voice and guitar combining the whole into a most pleasant aural experience. If you missed this gig check out the videos on http://thepenguinclub.co.nz of the night. - The Pillbox Hat, Oamaru, N.Z.
"Roll without the Rock" - Michael Jennick, Curl FM, U.S.A.
"Like the loudest blues band in the world whispering" - Zeitgeist, U.K.
"Bluesy-Funky-Jazzy-Punky-Psychedelic-Groovy-Grunge" - Tutu's, Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii
"For all the obscurities there is much eminence on offer. The Julian Temple Band are as low-key as they are charming." - Peter Thornton, Rip It Up Magazine, N.Z.
"What a sound! A great mix of various genres resulting in something only this trio could come up with. The musical interplay is truly excellent." - Tony Bates, Highlands FM, Australia
"Undeniably the combination works. Very interesting and highly listenable." - Kent Walsdorf, NZ Musician Magazine, N.Z.
"A distinctive and original sound and an interesting step forward in music" - Scott Johnston, KIX FM, Australia
"The Julian Temple Band’s song ‘Speedy’ was morally challenging yet humorous; thought provoking as well as being oh so energetically executed. These guys have real stage presence; they are tight as a band, and drummer Paul McLennan-Kissel was at the top of his game. The three have amazing fluidity in the way they work, they certainly connect, and there is the awesome potential for volatility while they’re on stage. Temple himself has Morrison like appeal, need I say more. The Julian Temple Band had the edge with their song writing and the audience was on the edge of their seats as they belted out fantastic tunes." - Kate Beecroft & Mike Handley, www.dunedinmusic.com, N.Z.
"The final act of this stellar line up, the evening's feature if you will, was The Julian Temple Band, arguably one of Dunedin's top guitarist/singer/songwriters backed by one of the city's best young rhythm sections. Formerly known as the JuJu Crew, Julian Temple Band is Matt Brook on bass, Paul McLennan Kessel on drums and percussion, and Julian Temple on guitar and vocals. Yet another active local group who's live shows had escaped me for some time, I had high anticipation but few expectations. I was ready to be won over and won over I was. The Julian Temple Band to me, represent that elusive space where really good songs and really good musicianship merge to create something special. Being part San Francisco and part Dunedin, Temple occupies unique territory as a local songwriter. If pressed to a comparison my initial thoughts would be something like John Mayer meets Lead Belly meets Dave Matthews. Something seemed distinctively Californian about Temple's more subtle, soulful moments. To me these moments almost felt like the sea. In a band of virtuosos, all on top of their game, ready and able to shine, Temple's voice struck me as a very special instrument. Always on pitch and able to sing complex melodies that seemed to go as many interesting places as the songs and arrangements themselves, I quickly concluded Julian's voice is as central an instrument to this band as his guitar, Brook's bass, or McLennan-Kissel's percussion. His rich, husky, breathy lower register provided an expressive element when singing low or delicate parts, and was juxtaposed by a powerful, raw, almost anguished blues-man quality when the song called for more.
The manically fluctuating song written in honour of Dunedins street-walking icon, Speedy, not only brought us back to the realisation that yes we are in fact in this great city, but also displayed the bands ability to arrange the music in a way intimately connected to the song content. If I had to have beef with this band, all I could really come up with is that I felt the spectacular musicianship of McLennan-Kissel and Brook was so magnetic and impressive that it, on occasion, overshadowed the actual song. Temple's writing is powerful and intelligent and there were times when I felt I wanted more of the song and less of the virtuosity. It has to be said of course that a factor like this only arises because in this band you have three equally talented and dynamic performers capable of much more than the average three-piece, and this is also what sets them apart and made The Julian Temple Band experience a real highlight of Live at St. Lees." - Emerson Yeoman, Fea St. Hustle, www.dunedinmusic.com, N.Z.
"A very special cd "In Sea' by Julian Temple Band. It sounds extraordinary. No thirteen in a dozen. It is pop with jazzy influence. Take the song "Moosey and Juice". You can hear that very well. I have now choosen for "Bipolar". Also the driveing rhythm and the voice of Julian with passion in this songs and all the songs. You can't predict the song. In each moment something new. But not that you loose the line in the song. For sure I play more of this album in my program. - Jan Nederveen, Radio Heerde, Netherlands
"FUN ALBUM! I like the combination of acoustic instruments and modern high energy arrangements. It has both the feeling of being new and being familiar. The lyrics/music fit together perfectly. My favourite: Square One." - Andy Dooley-Miller, KVMR, U.S.A.
"The final band of the night is the Julian Temple Band, which features two-thirds of the Entropy Trio (or does the Entropy Trio feature two-thirds of the Julian Temple Band?). This band is difficult to categorise, and it seems a shame to even try. There is a definite funk and jazz feel to their approach, which I guess is inevitable, given the inclinations of the drummer and the bassist. They combine this with a punk/surf rock attack which makes them truly enigmatic and orginal. Their singer has a granitic rasp of a voice, which complements there rough-around-the-edges approach perfectly." - Matthew "the Killer" Hoffman