Indie folk singer/songwriter Luke Temple was born in Salem, Massachusetts, though he lived for a time in Northern California before returning to New England as a painting student at the School of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. After completing his studies, Temple pulled up stakes again, moving to New York City, but as he was trying to launch his career as a visual artist, he developed a new interest in music. Temple started writing songs and playing at small clubs around New York; he also began recording his material on a simple four-track machine in his apartment, and tapes of his music started to circulate. Eventually, one of Temple's demos arrived at the offices of Mill Pond Records, an independent label based in Seattle, and they were taken with his breathy high tenor, naïve but tuneful melodies, and impressionistic, personal lyrics. In 2004, Mill Pond released Temple's first record, a self-titled four-song EP, and his first full-length album, Hold a Match for a Gasoline World, followed in 2005. Temple developed a loyal following in the Northwest, and he soon found himself shuttling back and forth between his homes in Brooklyn and Seattle. Temple's burgeoning career enjoyed a boost when in the fall of 2006 his song "Make Right with You" was featured in an episode of the hit television series Grey's Anatomy, raising his profile, boosting sales of the Hold a Match album, and increasing anticipation for his next disc. With indie rock kingpins Ben Gibbard and Sufjan Stevens now heralding his voice as one of the best in the business, Temple released his sophomore effort, the quirkily intimate Snowbeast, in August 2007.
In 2008 Temple formed the group Here We Go Magic, with Michael Bloch and Peter Hale. Their self-titled first record from 2009 featured only Temple, however, with a full band on only one track. For the next few years Temple alternated between making off-kilter indie rock with the band (with Secretly Canadian releasing Pigeons in 2010 and A Different Ship in 2012) and quieter more, indie folk-leaning albums on his own (2011's Don't Act Like You Don't Care on Western Vinyl.) In 2013, Temple moved his solo operation to Secretly Canadian and changed his style, too. His fourth album, Good Mood Fool, was recorded in an upstate New York cabin with Eliot Krimsky (synths) and Mike Johnson (drums), and took a giant step away from indie folk to land squarely in the spot where chillwave and R&B intersect. He returned to more folk-styled storytelling, however, with 2016's A Hand Through the Cellar Door. ~ Mark Deming & Tim Sendra