Fortress...

Temple Canyon

Independent release, 2019

http://templecanyon.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/16/2019

Seattle has never been short on fantastic music – both past and present – and now we can add the relatively new outfit Temple Canyon to that long list. This act is spearheaded by front woman Mariko Ruhle, a singer and guitarist who has an affinity for the '70s Laurel Canyon music scene; Al Reiter (drums, vocals) and Jason Shao (bass, guitar, vocals) help her flesh out the meticulous, warm tunes on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Fortress.

“Pressure” starts with soft guitars and vocals that build into a tense yet melodic restrained rocker, which reminds us of Stevie Nicks if she grew up on today's version of indie folk. “My Goldmine” follows with a warm, simmering display of beautiful textures and emotive delivery.

In the middle, “I Tangled With The Serpent,” which features Kris Gray on lead guitar, finds a nice to reside somewhere between cautious folk rock and spacey Americana sounds that glide with beautiful turbulence. Meanwhile, “Roses In My Hair” is a slow burner that's no less powerful in its sparse, creative setting. One of the album's best, “Elysium,” rests here and offers expressive vocals alongside dynamic interplay between the rhythm section that's hazy and even with a little punk influence.

At the end, “Desire” runs wild with an upbeat pace of glorious melody and a punchy folk pop spirit that's so infectious it's worth the price of admission alone. “New Moon” exits the affair with a haunting feel through waves of timeless, nostalgic songwriting.

An entirely DIY effort where the band recorded, mixed, and engineered this third album, the layering, texturing, and reverb-friendly moments are nothing short enthralling. Those with a careful eye will note the cover art bearing a strong resemblance to Fleetwood Mac's Mirage, and there are certainly many parallels to be found between the two bands. I doubt anyone could have a problem with that – certainly not me.

Rating: A-

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