HOW HERE WE GO MAGIC came to be sounds like a traditional tale of beating drugs or alcohol: First, they hit bottom.
After a few years in New York pursuing a musical career under his own name, Luke Temple was done. People weren't responding to his work. "I actually had decided that I wasn't going to play music anymore," Temple said from a tour stop in Cincinnati. "Well, I wasn't going to think of it in terms of my career. I decided that I was going to move out of New York and maybe travel—always play music, but never think of it in those terms anymore."
A weight lifted off his shoulders, spurring a creative rush. "When I made that decision, I started recording the Here We Go Magic record at the same time," Temple explained. "It was just something that I was doing for fun. I wasn't really thinking too much about it. It happened real spontaneously."
Over a span of two months, working in his apartment on an old Tascam 424 cassette tape four-track and feeding the warm, hazy analog tracks into GarageBand, Temple created Here We Go Magic, an effervescent, tightly wound pop journey. The bedroom production values give the album a glistening yet hazy purr. To invoke the name, there is indeed a bit of magic tucked inside.
In 2009, the sessions were released under the Magic moniker, and finally Temple's work became recognized—most importantly by the blogosphere. Requests for shows started piling up, Temple built a band, and this year Here We Go Magic have played over 100 shows. They've been touring since March, and released Pigeons, a full-band follow-up with the same bedroom, four-track aesthetic. The noteworthy single, "Collector," is a glowing romp of glistening synths, driving drums, and gleeful falsetto chants.
Over the course of Temple's fall and resplendent rise, he came to understand his ideal artistic working state. "I kind of attribute everything to me being happy," he said. "It made me feel really free, and I wasn't worrying about very much. I wasn't really stressed out at all. It made me happy—just kind of existing day-to-day, like weird, esoteric anything. And the record came out of that.
"And it gets me thinking on this idea of the suffering artist, and how it's bullshit," Temple continued. "My shit comes out the best when I'm happy. For me, it's real simple."