Not Far From Temple Cloud
The Temple Cloud Country Club is a two-man operation. Singer -songwriter Dean Frances-ÂHawksley lives a reclusive existence in a small village in southern Turkey. Multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer Andy Suttie lives in Bristol (not far from Temple Cloud) where the two originally met. The collaboration that led to their debut album When We Were Invented happened entirely in cyber-space. Acoustic guitar versions of the songs were recorded in Dean's wardrobe in sweltering heat and humidity, sent via the internet to a slightly cooler attic in Bristol England, arranged, orchestrated, and returned. Back and forth over the following months - revised and reworked - fourteen songs gradually took shape. The band posted four of them on MySpace and the response was little short of rapturous.
The music seemed to touch a chord with listeners the world over. The sound was compared to everything from Simon & Garfunkel, King Crimson and The Beatles to Radiohead, Muse and Belle and Sebastian. Listeners seemed equally convinced that the sound was utterly unique.
The industry quickly took notice. USA publishers Medea music signed the partnership to a worldwide publishing deal, soon followed by UK indie label Brilliant records, who are releasing the album in June 2009. Discussions are taking place between management and Channel 4 over the commissioning of an entire film score, and journalists are starting to write about the band.
As much as that's possible. No photos of the band exist (they've not been together in the same room since the project began), and no interviews have thus far been given. The band have opted to let the songs speak for themselves.
There is something achingly familiar in The Temple Cloud Country Cub's universe. Both lyrically and musically the songs seem to address a shared yearning that links us all to experiences in our past. Childhood is revisited here, but not in its idealised version. The territory is often dark and complex, as unsettling as it is familiar.
Above all, these are haunting musical landscapes, rich in imagery and texture. The effect is almost cinematic. Close your eyes and see.