Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s fifth album ‘Temple’ (out on Domino now) is bursting with hugely danceable songs that dip into various genres with aplomb.
It opens with the title track which is a rhythmic piece about looking forward with alluring bass lines and disco beats: ‘By day I gave grand speeches. By night, like you, we danced to be free’. ‘Phenom’ takes the record into a space that sits somewhere between ’60s rock and roll and a more groovy Fiona Apple. Thao talks about how patience can lead to tiredness while the instruments break down and demands ‘Don’t you touch me’ amidst hypnotic hooks and crashing drums. ‘Lion on the Hunt’ (like the later ‘Disclaim’) has more experimental art pop leanings and a forceful attitude: ‘However do you want it baby, just have to say, however do you want it baby, I’ll have it made’.
‘Pure Cinema’ evokes the spirit of ’70s Americana as Thao talks about seeking companionship – one of the running themes of the album: ‘Why don’t you stay a while, find your family’. The more reflective centrepiece ‘Marauders’ has gliding vocals delivering words about intentions floating away and defences being killed in a Weyes Blood style befoe Thao demands ‘Be kind to me’. ‘How Could I’ has a punk rock feel running through, albeit with elements of sadness: ‘What does love provide? I just got to see you once before I go ‘Oh no’, how could I?’
Thao demands ‘make it messy’ on ‘Rational Animal’ while also reflecting on how ‘I was last seen in your fever dream. Good riddance’. The penultimate ‘I’ve Got Something’ is a slow-burner with countless effects and an almost soothing lullaby tone while the closing ‘Marrow’ is more playful with its anthemic vibes and lyrics about staying on the straight and narrow: ‘I promise I will be good to us’.
Prepare to worship at the ‘Temple’ of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.