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Here We Go Magic: Making music for life

The members of Here We Go Magic tend to treat music like they approach life's other basic necessities.

"It's like eating food or something. Having to go to sleep," singer-songwriter Luke Temple told prior to a recent show at New York's (le) poisson rouge. "It's an integral part of life."

But it wasn't necessarily always that way for Temple. He started out wanting to be a visual artist and only teamed up with friends "for fun" in high school. Together, they "made noise," he said. But soon enough, music "engulfed" him and he found himself pursuing it full time.

"Music was always something I loved, so I tried my hat at it because it made me feel really good," said Temple.

Temple started the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Here We Go Magic as a solo project with the intent to perform the material with a band. In 2009, he linked up with drummer Pete Hale.

Their partnership had been a long time coming.

"I physically assaulted you in front of the Automotive High School on Bedford Avenue," joked Hale, who got his start performing in his school's orchestra and band.

But in reality, they had met many times.

"We always talked about playing together," said Temple. "We had known each other peripherally in the city for years. We've been here longer than a lot of people. Pete's always a guy you see and you part ways, and you're like, 'I like that guy.'"

They say linking up was a natural fit.

"I wanted to do something ensemble-based," said Temple. "I didn't know if anyone was going to give a crap about it. So, I wasn't expecting it was actually going to happen, but there was a little hope."

Soon, shows started coming together, and Here We Go Magic was born.

Another album, "Pigeons," came in 2010, followed by a 2011 EP and the full-length release, "A Different Ship" last year, produced by Nigel Godrich, known for his work with Radiohead.

Here We Go Magic first caught Godrich's ear when the band, which also features guitarist Michael Bloch, played the U.K.'s Glastonbury Festival.

"We played early in the morning and he was there with Thom Yorke [of Radiohead] and they really enjoyed the show," Temple recalls.

They stayed in touch and when Here We Go Magic was readying its 2012 release on the label, Secretly Canadian, Godrich was happy to be on board.

"He was really good at revealing ourselves to us. Just having that objectivity -- knowing when to tell us to stop, knowing when we were going overboard. He was just really good at editing," said Temple. "The record is owed in a huge part to him."

"We tend to listen to music that's really strong and very fundamental," added Temple. "We love rhythm. We love phrasing. We love really good sounds and there's always usually with any sort of sincere deep music, there's always a level of darkness in there. Even in Al Green. There's a dark matter in that music. I think that's kind of what we're trying to do. Make uplifting hopeful music with a dark twist."

Here We Go Magic spent much of 2012 on tour and will take some time off before diving into the next project.

"I'm making a solo record now....We just had a crazy bunch of touring, so we just need a little space," said Temple. "It's healthy."

Space, though, doesn't mean breaking up. A new Here We Go Magic album will likely happen, too.

"We're taking a little break and then we're making a record when it bubbles up from within," said Temple.

Looking ahead, Temple says, "Hopefully we'll keep making music together. You never know what's going to happen. There's no reason to think we won't."