Judging by their kaleidoscopic music videos, their fringe jackets, and their vocalist's uncanny resemblance to T. Rex's Marc Bolan, it's easy to label Temples as a '60s throwback band. But Temples manage to add modern sensibility to their retro influences without feeling derivative. Industry vets in high places have been taking notice, too — the band has earned raves from rock icons like The Smiths' Johnny Marr and Oasis' Noel Gallagher, not to mention the adoration of the British press. While the Kettering four-piece has yet to touch down across the pond (a U.S. tour is slated for November), Temples' music has already garnered significant buzz here in the states. And keyboardist Adam Smith caught up with The Week via email to offer up some psychedelic gems — and opinions about poodles. Here, six of his favorite songs about animals because.... well, why not?
1. The Kinks, "Phenomenal Cat"
"I'm not a big fan of cats to be honest, but Ray Davies claims that this cat is phenomenal, so in this case I will make an exception. This song is a great little ditty taken from the wonderful album, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society."
2. Snow, "Caterpillar"
"This is one of my favorite silly psychedelic songs. It encompasses every element that you would like a 1968 psych-pop-lollipop song to have. The song may be completely over the top and decorated like an overly tinseled Christmas tree, but the songwriting is incredible. I also don't particularly like caterpillars, but I probably would if this one talked to me."
3. Mayo Thompson, "Horses"
"This song is taken from the album Corky's debt to his father by Mayo Thompson (leader of the amazing group Red Krayola). The album itself is brilliant and this song fits in as one of many great songs (including 'Venus in the Morning' and 'Fortune'). If you enjoy this song, have a listen to Pere Ubu's cover on their album The Art of Walking. I like horses more than the previous two animals mentioned."
4. Syd Barrett, "Rats"
"I couldn't suggest six songs without including a Syd Barrett number. 'Rats' is a strange old song, but one of my favorites. The lyrics are great, some words have been spliced together to create his own neologisms and some are the product of 'cut/up' and some are just beautiful. The chorus is a right stomper too. Another favorite Barrett tune which has a link to animals is 'Wolfpack'. I don't dislike rats like a lot of people do, I think that they are just mice that have lost their way. I also think that wolves are dogs that have forgotten their way."
5. Phil Cordell, "Red Lady"
"What a great uplifting 'psych' song this is. Phil Cordell is no household name, in fact the b-side of this song is the only other thing I've heard of his (and it is not too good). However, 'Red Lady,' which seems to be about his dog, as the cover art suggests, is a catchy old tune with some brilliant sounds. I like dogs a little bit more than cats."
6. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, "Poodle Rockin"
"I don't like poodles, they are ridiculous. This song, however, by the ever-wonderful Gorky's Zygotic Mynci is a brilliant little song with a great video to go with it, and a fun one to end on."
"Shelter Song" / "Colours To Life" 7" is out now on Fat Possum.
(This interview was condensed and edited by Samantha Rollins.)
Watch the video for "Colours To Life" below:
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