The first time I listened to Temples by Ben Fairey I was a bit confused to say the least. Superficially it’s an RnB track – at least where the basic building blocks of the track are concerned – but it’s the leftfield nature of the lyrics and vocals as well as the other musical influences in the mix that subvert the genre and means Temples needs a number of listens to be really appreciated.
The track opens with what feels like a soul re-imagining of I’m Not in Love by 10cc, a slow jam with layers of slightly pitch-shifted vocals creating an unsettling feeling. This is reinforced by the way the track switches from this to an almost minimal feel and back in a rapidity, which is at odds with the overall laid-back vibe of Temples.
Lyrically it feels like a stream of consciousness riff on the nature of the self, dark and reflective as it explores the inner psyche as it reflects on the nature of change caused by the onset of depression. It’s not the usual fare you’d expect from a track that sounds like this, which adds to the unsettling yet warm ambiance of the track. I’ve listened to this quite a few times now, I’m not sure I really understand it. But whether you want to dive in deep and meditate or just let the track flow over you, Temples is well worth a listen.
There’s also a great video available, here.
Temples is out now and is featured on Fairey’s Destination EP which is currently streaming on Spotify as well as Soundcloud and released by Zyrid Music. You can find out more about Ben Fairey by checking out his website.