Jealous Heart

Under The Spire Recordings, 2013

Mark Templeton presents Jealous Heart, an album which reimagines the story of his sound in an approach that is both staid and deeply emotional, re-orienting what is offered and what is held back through a myriad of smeared stringed instruments, fragmented horn phrases, tape loops, and found-sound-driven explorations.

Templeton’s music is always difficult to truly classify, which is part of its charm. It is way too dense and detailed to qualify as ambient in a traditional sense – instead developing itself into a highly organized, spacious clutter. It is electro-acoustic music that hearkens to tape machines and misused instruments of yesteryear, viewed whole-heartedly through the prism of ultra-modernity, of an awareness of what has transpired in-between.

Filled with subtly processed horns that recall a jazz club under the sea, a speakeasy of a future past blanketed in a detailed haze that allows one to find an individual path through it – a precise murkiness, where objects coalesce in the background while the focus stays predominantly on the instrumental underpinnings of each track. At times the album holds a sense of longing, of days past or imagined to be, but cloaked in hopefulness, of a consistent sense of working through an idea, an experience, a sound source – wringing something constructive out of it and re-forming it into something better.

Warm and textured is a given with Templeton’s work. This album is similarly so, but with a layer of knowingness, an awareness that warmth is not enough. There is a pervasive sense of age, a feeling of it being an older object than it actually is, almost as if it was found on a forgotten shelf, yet had sensibilities that won’t exist until tomorrow. The landscape becomes one where the album manages to be constantly moving while presenting the listener with a sense of stillness, a balancing act that is incredibly difficult to get right.

Carved and Cared For visuals by Kyle Armstrong

Straits visuals by Evangeline Belzile