Armed with infectious hooks and weighty subject matter, Eskimo Joe frontman Kav Temperley has given fans the latest taste of his forthcoming studio album, sharing new single Last Of The Wine ahead of the arrival of his anticipated sophomore record, Machines Of Love And Grace set for release on October 19. Following on from previous 2022 singles Graduation Day and the record’s title track, Temperley’s latest release is a testament to his power as a songwriter; leaning into difficult and emotional territory, yet managing to navigate its complexities with both care, courage, and inimitable musical dexterity.
Written, recorded, and produced solo at his own Studio 42 in Fremantle, Last Of The Wine sees Temperley echoing back to Eskimo Joe’s A Song Is A City period, while taking inspiration from prolific indie-rock icons such as Beck and Wilco, with a sprinkle of Spoon for good measure. The result is a truly Temperley-esque piece of music, though its double-time drums and catchy melodies hide a more pertinent and harrowing narrative. As he himself warns, it’s territory we should cautiously enter at our own risk.
“Last Of The Wine is about drinking and domestic violence and how the two often meet in the middle,” he explains. “I imagined a love story where someone is locked in a room dreaming about someone somewhere else while dealing with a complex love-hate relationship that they can’t escape from, jumping at shadows and flinching every time they lean in for a kiss. At night they stare out at the moon with a glass of wine in their hand and imagine the same moon shining its light down on the one they love and just for a moment they feel alright.”
The sobering, yet cathartic track also comes accompanied by a wistful, almost nostalgic music video which features footage shot by Maverick, and featuring the directorial and editing talents of Temperley himself. “The video clip was edited together from a live performance at sundown studios and set to the backdrop of the theme parks of the ‘70s where so much hope and life existed,” he explains. “A world that seems foreign post pandemic.”
Last Of The Wine is set to make its appearance on Temperley’s forthcoming studio album, Machines Of Love And Grace. His second solo effort, following on from 2018’s All Your Devotion, it’s a record that has been a long time coming, and captures Temperley at a time when he’s eager to emerge from the morass of these last two years, and once again share music and tell stories in a manner only he can.
“Making records can be hard work and the final run is the hardest part, yet as soon as you’ve finished it feels wonderful like you could do it all over again,” he explains. “This album has been a document of the last two-and-a-half years of my experiences and stories during the global pandemic. I don’t want to cause anyone PTSD but I’m just telling my story in the hope that other people will get their own story back.”
Throughout the record, there are some all-too familiar stories, with tracks that touch upon isolation, addiction, violence, and nostalgia. Together, they combine to provide a unifying soundtrack, the type that could only emerge from the sort of experience that Temperley and the rest of the world has experienced in recent times. “The album documents the incredibly strange and unique experience of the past three years of the pandemic,” he notes. “These are not meant to be stories of judgement, but rather a comment on the collective experience we all went through together as a society.”
Having wrapped up a regional tour that saw him preview new songs alongside solo material and Eskimo Joe classics, Temperley is set to release his forthcoming album on October 19. However, when he’s not too busy rocking out with legendary bandmates, Temperley will be eager to once again get back on the dusty trail and share his new compositions with fans old and new. “I’m looking forward to hitting the cities and the suburbs early next year after the album has come out and everyone has got a chance to get to know the songs,” he says eagerly.
Last Of The Wine is out today, September 19.
The album Machines of Love and Grace will be released October 19 pre-save here https://ditto.fm/machinesofloveandgrace-kav-temperley