Dealing in icy, electro-soul fantasy worlds and moody, post-club comedowns, Temples Of Youth – aka Paul Gumma and Jo Carson – have a way of creating swelling, melancholic atmospherics that feel like they should be the backdrop to an ITV crime drama. ‘Dunes’ in particular throws up images of Olivia Coleman wandering around wind-swept cliff edges looking pensive and forlorn, whilst Carson’s restrained delivery sets an idyllic scene – “The highway led us back/The sunset lit the tracks/In dunes are buried memories.”
The Winchester duo follow a similar template of nocturnal, synthy downbeats that was scratched out by The XX a few years ago and turn it into classy pop set-pieces. Go back a little bit further and you can also hear traces of Everything But The Girl’s dejected disco odes, and Florence Welch’s dreamy storytelling and dramatic imagination is also in the mix.
The burst of 80s guitar euphoria comes as an added surprise on ‘Enso’, whilst the washes and waves of keyboard effects transform it into an outright emotional storm. Somewhere between a sparse, modern R’n’B track and a lighters-in-the air, electro-pop power ballad, it’s break-up music that steadily builds from dignified snivelling into snot-flying, red-faced blubbing. Just wonderful.
Find out more about Temples Of Youth at their brand new website.