I guess the standout detail for me about Brisbane’s The Trouble With Templeton is the fact that the band is signed to UK indie label Bella Union, who also have the likes of Fleet Foxes, Midlake, Flaming Lips, Beach House on its roster. Good company to keep!
Immediate impression upon listening to The Trouble With Templeton was that the band was your typical ‘hipster’ indie-folk outfit but thankfully that’s not really the case. Sure, there are obvious folk elements – acoustic guitars jangle and high register harmonies for example – but dig deeper and it’s clear that the band’s influences stretch to the 90s with Radiohead, Travis and early Coldplay prominent.
Thomas Calder, the nucleus of the band, has a distinctive voice that conveys edge and fragility, sadness with anger – a highly emotive instrument. The songs themselves are built on motivic patterns that anchor fairly static melodies, relying on ‘feels’ and atmosphere and less on classical melodicism.
Which is fine if one is able to deliver emotionally resonant material such as “Whimpering Child”, “Heavy Lifting” and “Secret Pastures” whilst at the same time producing soaring ditties as “Six Months in a Cast” and “You Are New”. Wrapped up nicely in organic production, Rookie is essential listening for modern alternative pop fans looking beyond artifice.